Prince William has made a surprise visit to Manchester to thank the police officers who were on the front line during last week’s suicide bombing. He also met with victims in the hospital and local community members.
Prince William wanted to personally thank the first responders who arrived at the scene of the Manchester attack which killed 22 last week.
Prince William, while speaking to the officers, emphasised the need to talk about what they saw and the effect it has on them: “You guys did a fantastic job, but hopefully you’ve been talking about what you saw and how it has affected you.”
“Nobody can see that and not be affected by it, and when it’s children, it’s horrendous.”
The Duke met PC Michael Buckley who was off-duty at the time of the attack. He was eventually reunited with his daughter at the Ariana Grande concert. While searching for his 15-year-old daughter, he tended and helped victims.
Prince William asked about his daughter. Mr Buckley said: “She’s shaken up, but she’s getting better.”
Mr Buckley recalled the aftermath of the bombing. “When I walked into the foyer of the arena, it was absolute devastation, there were people screaming, others crying and others making no sound at all. I knew my daughter was in there somewhere.”
While treating the wounded, he tried to make contact with his daughter Stephanie. They were eventually reunited with her at a local hotel.
Prince William also questioned him about the attack and the support being offered to the officers, adding: “It’s nice that he took the time out to come and show us what we did is appreciated.”
Following his visit to the Manchester police, he then visited the Manchester Cathedral. He met other first responders and members of the community who provided help and support to those affected by the attack.
Prince William met Haseeb Khan, who alongside his twin brother Bilal helped deliver supplies to the emergency workers on the scene the day after the assault.
Mr Khan said Prince William told them they were “a shining light for the young Manchester community.”
“I think those words will stay with me for a long time.”
Additionally, Prince William met Owen Sanderson who works for Northern Rail. On the night of the attack, he grabbed his first aid ticket and ran to help the victims in the aftermath of the attack.
Owen Sanderson was incredibly touched by the royal visit. He said since the attack he had “seven breakdowns because of the trauma.” He stated that he was told, “It’s natural, so it will go away.”
Speaking of the impact Prince William’s visit had he said: “I think part of my emotion was the fact that the future king of England has come to Manchester to thank me personally, it’s the highest accolade you can get.”
Prince William then visited Manchester Children’s Hospital where he spent time privately with children who were injured in the attack as well as their families.
Prince William’s visit follows the visit of The Queen who visited Manchester to visit the doctors and patients on Thursday the 25th of May.