A minute's silence was held by the Queen at the start of the Trooping the Colour parade on Saturday to remember the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire in West London, along with those killed in the recent UK terror attacks in London and Manchester. The mark of respect followed after the release of her Majesty's official birthday message, which stated that it was "difficult to escape a very sombre national mood." The message, which was released on Twitter, read: "Today is traditionally a day of celebration.
Queen Elizabeth at the Trooping the Colour 2017
"This year, however, it is difficult to escape a very sombre national mood. In recent months, the country has witnessed a succession of terrible tragedies. As a nation, we continue to reflect and pray for all those who have been directly affected by these events. During recent visits in Manchester and London, I have been profoundly struck by the immediate inclination of people throughout the country to offer comfort and support to those in desperate need."
The Queen continued: "Put to the test, the United Kingdom has been resolute in the face of adversity. 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." She signed the letter "Elizabeth R."
The Queen, 91, visited the site of the Grenfell Tower fire in north Kensington with her grandson, Prince William, on Friday and paid a visit to the Westway Community Centre, where many residents are currently seeking shelter following the blaze. The Queen spoke to residents, volunteers and members of the police, and was visibly moved.
The Queen and Prince William visited the site of the Grenfell Tower fire on Friday
On Thursday, the Queen paid tribute to the "bravery" of firefighters who battled the fire and praised the "incredible generosity" of volunteers offering their support. In a statement, she wrote: "My thoughts and prayers are with those families who have lost loved ones in the Grenfell Tower fire and the many people who are still critically ill in hospital. Prince Philip and I would like to pay tribute to the bravery of firefighters and other emergency services officers who put their own lives at risk to save others," the statement read. "It is also heartening to see the incredible generosity of community volunteers rallying to help those affected by this terrible event."