Prince William Surprises First Responders in Manchester, Including Father of Arena Attack Victim

Royal father of two meets fellow father whose daughter was in the attack

By Samantha Schnurr Jun 02, 2017 3:05 PMTags
Prince William, Duke of CambridgeDanny Lawson - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Prince William spent the day shaking heroes' hands. 

The royal traveled to Manchester Friday to come face to face with the first responders who worked tirelessly to help the victims of the Manchester Arena attack in late May. Among the officials he met at the Greater Manchester police station was a police officer who happened to be off duty waiting to pick up his daughter when the bomb went off. 

Michael Buckley's 15-year-old daughter, Stephanie, suffered a concussion and some crush injuries, but fortunately was able to reunite with her worried father by the early morning.  

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"When I walked into the foyer of the arena it was absolute devastation, there were people screaming, others crying and others making no sound at all," the police officer recalled to reporters. "I knew my daughter was in there somewhere."

The royal father of two expressed his appreciation and gratitude to the officers and asked if they have been receiving enough support in the aftermath of the tragedy. "It's nice that he took the time out to come and show us what we did is appreciated," Buckley told reporters. 

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Danny Lawson - WPA Pool/Getty Images
Danny Lawson - WPA Pool/Getty Images

After speaking with the first responders, the prince headed to Manchester Cathedral, where he signed the Book of Condolences. "Manchester's strength and togetherness is an example to the world," the 34-year-old wrote. "My thoughts are with all those affected."

Like his famous grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, he also paid a private visit to Manchester Children's Hospital to personally meet some of the victims and their families. 

Prince William responded publicly to the tragedy after it occurred, releasing a joint public statement with brother Prince Harry and wife Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton.

"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."