The Duchess of Cornwall raises a smile from Cynthia Bobb-Semple, who was showered with glass in one of the attacks
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Her husband seemed equally intent on lifting the spirits of those they visited as he shared a joke with John Tulloch

8 JULY 2005

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As Londoners returned to their offices in the British capital on Friday, determined to resume ordinary life as soon as possible after Thursday's devastating bomb blasts, members of the royal family turned out to show their support.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visited St Mary's Hospital, in Paddington, where they spoke to members of the public injured in the attacks. While obviously deeply affected, both the Prince and his new wife seemed intent on bringing cheer to those they visited, sharing light-hearted words and raising a smile on the faces of many patients.

Paying tribute to the "resilience of the British people", Charles said they "have set us all a fantastic example of how to recover".

He was also full of praise for the hospital workers. "I remember coming here after the Paddington rail crash. (Staff) really are extraordinary. Everyone pulls together and it brings out the best in them."

The Duchess added: "It makes me very proud to be British."

They also met the hospital's ambulance staff, commenting on the role they played in the aftermath of the day's horrific events. From there the royal representatives moved on to the Police Training Unit in Hendon which served as the casualty information unit in the wake of the blasts.

Later in the day, the Queen, who released a message shortly after the explosions, saying she was deeply shocked by the tragedy, is due to visit the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel. Thirty of the 200 people treated by the hospital in the wake of the bombings remain patients at the hospital.

At the monarch's request the Union flag is flying at half-mast over Buckingham Palace as a mark of respect to the victims.