London News & Search
The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry visited a new centre offering counselling to families affected by the Grenfell Tower disaster.
The royal brothers met local community members and those leading the volunteer effort in North Kensington at the Support4Grenfell hub.
The Duchess of Cambridge was due to join them on their journey to the community centre, but has withdrawn because she is pregnant with her third child.
Kate, who is suffering with severe morning sickness, as was the case with her previous pregnancies, was forced to pull out of public engagements on Monday and Tuesday.
The trio are known for their spearheading of mental health causes, fronting the Heads Together campaign which encourages people to speak out about their problems.
Harry, urged schoolchildren affected by the disaster to be there for each other as they come to terms with the tragedy.
Responding to pupils at two nearby schools who said they had been talking to each other about the fire, he said: “That’s all you can do, is be there for each other because there will be some people… who either don’t want to talk about their experiences… or think they are absolutely fine, and in years’ time suddenly they might have some nightmares and that’s when you guys will be crucial, because you have been through that process.”
To one pupil, who said they had felt a “very difficult atmosphere” when they sat an exam after the fire, the prince joked: “Exam conditions are pretty rubbish anyway, I don’t think it’s changed in the last 20 years.”
During his visit to a nearby relief centre in the days after the June 14 fire, William told a volunteer the tragedy was “one of the most terrible things I have ever seen”, vowing to return.
The Duke and his brother will hear from headteachers of local schools, charities including Place2Be, Child Bereavement UK, The Art Room and Winston’s Wish, and meet some of those being helped.
They will then travel the short distance to Al-Manaar Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre, one of the first centres to open its doors to provide emergency relief during the night of the fire.
In the immediate aftermath the centre was a base to co-ordinate volunteers, food, water and shelter, and continues to provide families and residents with advice, support and counselling.
It is currently working with charities to ensure there is specialist long-term support for the community.
London News & Search