Royal Family Shares Messages of Hope and Strength After Manchester Arena Attack

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William, Kate Middleton and Prince Harry praise the "strength" and "decency" of the community

By Zach Johnson May 23, 2017 3:45 PMTags

In light of the Manchester Arena attack that left at least 22 dead and 59 injured, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince William shared messages of hope and strength in separate statements. The incident occurred around 10:30 p.m. local time as Ariana Grande was ending her concert; survivors are now being treated in eight different hospitals. At this point, school officials have identified two fatalities: 8-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos and 18-year-old Georgina Callander.

Twelve children under the age of 16 were seriously injured, officials said.

Greater Manchester Police said Tuesday they have arrested a 23-year-old man in the south of the city in connection with the attack. As the investigation is active, his name is being withheld.

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In her statement, the Queen began by acknowledging the collective shock the "whole nation" is feeling as a result of the senseless tragedy. "I know I speak for everyone in expressing my deepest sympathy to all who have been affected by this dreadful event and especially to the families and friends of those who have died or were injured. I want to thank all the members of the emergency services, who have responded with such professionalism and care," the 91-year-old British monarch said. "And I would like to express my admiration for the way the people of Manchester have responded, with humanity and compassion, to this act of barbarity."

Soon after, the 34-year-old Duke of Cambridge later issued a statement on behalf of himself, his wife, Kate Middleton, and his brother, Prince Harry. "Like everyone, Catherine, Harry and I are left shocked and saddened by the tragedy that unfolded in Manchester overnight. Hundreds of friends, parents, children and partners are confronting unimaginable grief today, and we send our thoughts to them all," William said. "We also send our thanks to the people of Manchester for their display of strength, decency and community that is an example to the world."

James Corden Pays Tribute to Manchester in Heartfelt Monologue
Royal Family / Twitter

A moment of silence was observed at a garden party in Buckingham Palace Tuesday. Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Camila Parker-Bowles and Princess Eugenie joined Her Royal Highness.

A spokesperson for Manchester Arena—which holds about 21,000 people and is one of Europe's largest indoor arenas—issued an update and shared it via Twitter Tuesday morning. "Last night, our community suffered a senseless tragedy. Our entire team's thoughts and focus are now on supporting the people affected and their families. We are assisting the police in any way we can. We cannot praise the emergency services enough for their response and have been inspired by the way the people of this great city of Manchester rallied round last night and continued to respond today. It shows the very best of this city," the spokesperson said. "Again, our thoughts and deepest condolences are with all those affected by last night's tragedy."

In a Downing Street press conference, British Prime Minister Theresa May said the attacker, who died at the scene, deliberately targeted children and young people "who should have been enjoying one of the most memorable nights of their lives." As police work to determine if the attacker was operating alone, May told reporters, "We can continue to resolve to thwart such attacks in future, to take on and defeat the ideology that often fuels this violence, and if there turn out to be others responsible for this attack, to seek them out and bring them to justice."

United States President Donald Trump offered his condolences while visiting Bethlehem. "I won't call them 'monsters' because they'd like that term. They'd think that's a great name," Trump said at a press conference. "I will call them from now on 'losers' because that's what they are. They're 'losers' and we'll have more of them. But they're 'losers'—remember that."

Grande tweeted Monday night that she felt "broken" and was "so sorry" for what transpired. "Tonight, our hearts are broken. Words cannot express our sorrow for the victims and families harmed in this senseless attack. We mourn the lives of children and loved ones taken by this cowardly act. We are thankful for the selfless service tonight of Manchester's first responders who rushed towards danger to help save lives," the pop star's team tweeted Monday. "We ask all of you to hold the victims, their families and all those affected in your hearts and prayers."