Prince William has spoken of the loss of his mother, Princess Diana, and the grief he still experiences during a moving memorial service for the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing.
During the official opening of the Glade of Light Memorial on Tuesday, May 10, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge honoured the 22 victims who died and the countless others who were injured during the incident by laying flowers at the site and meeting with those who lost loved ones. Kate paid a subtle tribute to the community of Manchester by wearing earrings with bees on them which is the local symbol of the city.
During a touching speech, William paid tribute to the victims while opening up about his own grief.
“As someone who lives with his own grief, I also know that what often matters most to the bereaved is that those we have lost are not forgotten,” William said.
“There is comfort in remembering. In acknowledging that, while taken horribly soon, they lived. They changed our lives. They were loved, and they are loved.
“It is why memorials such as the Glade of Light are so important. Why Catherine and I so wanted to be amongst you today.”
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William had earlier attended the State Opening of Parliament alongside his father, on the Queen’s behalf. William acted as a Counsellor of State, one of only four senior members of the Royal family who is permitted to carry out duties on behalf of the Queen in her absence.
Charles delivered the Queen’s speech for the first time, which sets outs the government’s agenda for the year ahead after the Queen “reluctantly” withdrew from the ceremony due to “mobility issues”.
Buckingham Palace confirmed the Queen’s absence in a statement issued on Monday, May 9.
“The Queen continues to experience episodic mobility problems, and in consultation with her doctors has reluctantly decided that she will not attend the State Opening of Parliament,” the statement read.
“At Her Majesty’s request, and with the agreement of the relevant authorities, The Prince of Wales will read The Queen’s speech on Her Majesty’s behalf, with The Duke of Cambridge also in attendance.”
The 96 year old Monarch has only missed the event twice before, once in 1959 when she was pregnant with Prince Andrew and again in 1963 when she was pregnant with Prince Edward.
However, this occasion marked the first time the Queen had been absent from the ceremony due to poor health.