LONDON – The Queen used her message on her official birthday to reflect of the tragedies that have engulfed the country over the last few months.
The Queen highlighted the “very sombre national mood” following the Grenfell Tower fire that has killed at least 30 people and injured dozens of others, as well as the terrorist attacks in Manchester and London.
“Today is a traditional day of celebration. This year, however, it is very difficult to escape a very sombre national mood.”
“United in our sadness, we are equally determined, without fear or favour, to support all those rebuilding lives so horribly affected by injury and loss.”
Here is her full statement that was posted on Twitter:
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) June 17, 2017
The Queen and Duke of Cambridge met volunteers, residents and community representatives earlier this week at the Westway Sports Centre.
There was mixed reaction over her taking her time to visit victims of the fire and to hear their stories. Some applauded her for visiting victims despite Prime Minister Theresa May’s representatives saying she could not meet Grenfell residents due to security concerns:
Theresa May : “I couldn’t speak to residents of Grenfell Tower because of security concerns”
The Queen : “Hold my crown…” https://t.co/dCyLo55G8a
— Adam????️???????? (@thegaymeradam) June 16, 2017
The Queen is visiting relatives of the Grenfell Tower disaster. So a 91-year-old woman has got there quicker than Theresa May.
— Gordon Rayner (@gordonrayner) June 16, 2017
But then there were a number of locals who heckled the Queen during her visit:
The Queen has issued a statement of condolence to the Grenfell Tower victims from her largely-empty 775-room palace that you pay for.
— Nick Pettigrew (@Nick_Pettigrew) June 15, 2017
— EL4C (@EL4JC) June 16, 2017
LBC captured one local resident saying that the Queen should give up one of her palaces to house those who lost their homes. The local woman, named as Corinne, told LBC:
“How many properties has she got? Give up your palace and give it to the people who supported her when she had that fire at Windsor Castle.
“You asked for the taxpayer to pay. This is a situation where you can give something back to your people. Give one of your palaces up to the people who have got nowhere to live.”