Prince William is truly proving to follow in the footsteps of his late mother, Princess Diana, who was known as “the People’s Princess.” Following the Manchester bombing at an Ariana Grande concert on May 22, the Prince of Wales visited several children at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital unannounced. This was done so that he could come without an entourage of cameras, the way the Queen came.
Caroline Rushmer, a major trauma specialist practitioner, showed him around the hospital and made remarks to media outlets.
“He sat down and talked to each family about their experiences and what had happened, how they’d felt about things and what emotions they’d gone through and about their children’s injuries and how they’re progressing. He really empathized with them.
“It certainly helps the parents and helps them feel somebody empathizes with them. They were all very excited to meet him and his visit meant a lot to them. His visit has meant a lot to the staff, too. It’s nice to get the recognition for the hard work that whole teams have been doing for these past weeks.”
Of course, the visit didn’t remain private for long, as scores of people showed up after hearing he was at the hospital to greet him.
His grandmother, the Queen, made a visit to the same hospital almost immediately after the attack. Her visit, although kind-hearted, was broadcast as she did so. There were cameras catching the event, both recording the conversations she was having with the victims and taking photos. Prince William’s visit, however, was much more subdued, as he arrived without the press, meaning he could talk to the parents and children much more candidly.
But the Prince of Wales’ trip to Manchester didn’t end there. Instead, the father of two also made time to visit the Greater Manchester police headquarters to thank the first responders for their bravery after the terrorist attack.
One of the policemen shared a horrific story with the prince, detailing how he was off duty and his daughter was at the concert. He lost her for several hours, but they were eventually reunited. But despite having time off, he dove right in and tried to help save victims while simultaneously keeping an eye out for his daughter.
“There was one lady who died three times and we got her back three times and then we lost her the fourth time. It was very difficult,” he confessed to Prince William.
Another policeman shared that although he was also off duty, he went to help because he lives five minutes away from where the blast took place.
“It was just absolute chaos with people running and screaming in different directions. I was just trying to feed back to comms what I was seeing and hearing. At the time you don’t know the bigger picture,” he said.
After meeting with the police force and the victims of the tragedy, Prince William stopped at the Manchester Cathedral to pay his respects to those who lost their lives during the concert.
He wrote in the book that “strength and togetherness is an example to the world.”
A pair of twin brothers, Haseeb and Bilah Khan, who met Prince William, shared their story with People about the night of the attack. The twins said they heard a restaurant nearby was giving out free meals, so they quickly signed up to help give them out.
“We dropped food off at the hotel. The smiles we saw on people’s faces was nice and reflected that community spirit. For a second it felt a bit tense but the community spirit shone. They want to build the fear but we traded that for good spirit,” Haseeb said.
[Featured Image by WPA/Pool/Getty Images]