On the morning of the 2017 Trooping the Colour parade, Queen Elizabeth released an official birthday message that recognized the collective sadness across the UK. In the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire and terror attacks in London and Manchester, Buckingham Palace posted the monarch’s heartfelt letter to their Twitter page. While the Queen stressed the nation’s unwavering strength, she also acknowledged that celebrating anything would be difficult in times of such sorrow.
The Queen and her grandson, Prince William, had visited the site of the Grenfell Tower fire in North Kensington a day before the message was released, where thirty people have been confirmed dead and 70 are still missing. Her majesty and the Duke of Cambridge went to the Westway Community Centre, where many residents sought emergency shelter following the terrifying blaze. The Queen spoke to members of the police force as well as volunteers and residents. William was unaccompanied by his wife Kate Middleton, who was attending the 1851 Trust Roadshow on the other side of town.
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The Queen paid tribute to the "bravery" of firefighters who battled the fire and praised the "incredible generosity" of volunteers offering their support. In a statement, she wrote: "My thoughts and prayers are with those families who have lost loved ones in the Grenfell Tower fire and the many people who are still critically ill in hospital. Prince Philip and I would like to pay tribute to the bravery of firefighters and other emergency services officers who put their own lives at risk to save others," the statement read. "It is also heartening to see the incredible generosity of community volunteers rallying to help those affected by this terrible event."