King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands has been one the first royals to respond to the tragedy in Berlin, where a lorry ploughed through a Christmas market on Monday night, killing at least 12 people and injuring dozens more.
Around 29 people are still in hospital, some in serious condition. It is currently assumed by the police that is was a deliberate attack on the Christmas market and there is a suspect in custody, who is a 23-year-old man who had allegedly sought asylum in Germany. The original driver of the lorry was a Polish man, who was found dead in the passenger seat, presumably shot by the suspect as the lorry was being hijacked.
He shared his response on social media:
“At the foot of the Gedächtniskirche, the symbol to remind us of the values of peace and reconciliation, defenceless people were the victim of a violent crime last night. We sympathise with the families who were affected and to those who were injured. Berlin is our thoughts. – WA”
The Belgian Court also responded on Twitter to the tragedy, tweeting in Belgium’s three official languages (Dutch, French and German) and in English:
“Deeply shocked by tragedy at Christmas market
#Berlin. Our thoughts go to the victims, their families and friends and to the German people.”
Queen Mathilde of the Belgians has already taken part in a minute of silence for the victims of the Berlin tragedy as she attended aHigh-Levell Policy Summit, organised by the European Commission in Brussels this morning. She also held the opening speech there.
Although some Christmas markets opened their stall in the early morning of Tuesday, it was deemed to be a security risk and they were ordered to be closed by the police. This was also done out of respect for the victims of the tragedy.