The tragic events in Manchester have shaken the world. The whole country has come together to mourn the young lives lost in Manchester Arena last Monday, and in football, the grief was just as great.
At Wembley, the nation’s biggest football stadium, Prince William joined more than 89,000 fans ahead of the FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Chelsea in observing a minute’s silence ahead of the kick-off in memory of those killed in the terror attack.
The royal, who is also the President of the Football Association, laid a wreath alongside the FA Chairman Greg Clarke, Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and Culture Secretary Karen Bradley.
A handwritten note left by the Prince read, “We will never fear coming together to celebrate all that unites us. In memory of the friends and family taken from us in Manchester.”
The match ended with a 2-1 victory for Arsenal, who have now won the cup for a record 13th time. Prince William, a self-confessed Aston Villa fan, presented the winners with the trophy, capping off an evening of mixed emotions.
The final was played amid the heaviest security presence in the competition’s history, with more police officers deployed around the stadium to ensure maximum safety.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were among the first to pay tribute to the victims who were killed in a bomb blast as they left an Ariana Grande concert.
A message of condolences from the couple said: ‘’Like everyone, Catherine, Harry and I are left shocked and saddened by the tragedy that unfolded in Manchester overnight.
“Hundreds of friends, parents, children, and partners are confronting unimaginable grief today, and we send our thoughts to them all.
“We also send our thanks to the people of Manchester for their display of strength, decency, and community that is an example to the world.”