Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall paid a special visit to members of the emergency services who responded to the London Bridge terror attack. The royal couple were introduced to a group of first responders, all of whom heroically rushed to the scene to try and save lives. Charles and his wife Camilla thanked the group for their work during the attack, which left seven dead and dozens more injured.
Among the heroes was Pc Liam Dolphin of City of London police, who tried to help Christine Archibald, a Canadian charity worker who was hit by the van and sadly died at the scene. PC Dolphin, 30, believes he and his colleague Special Constable Steven Morgan, 36, were the first officers on the scene, arriving within 90 seconds of the first emergency call.
He explained that he gave Christine cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and later comforted her fiancé Tyler Ferguson after she died. "I was giving her CPR," Pc Dolphin said. "I left her when the medics came." He later came across Tyler walking among the wounded on the other end of the bridge. "He was quite distressed," said the policeman. "He told me she had been pronounced dead. I was just hugging him for a while. He had a bit of a difficult time." Of the memory, he added: "It sticks with you. It's very difficult."
Officers from British Transport Police were also present at the royal engagement, which took place at the Special Operations room at Central Communications Command in London. The officers explained that one of their colleagues had been stabbed in the eye. Two City of London detectives also described how they arrived at the scene within two or three minutes of the call. DC Mark Alston, 35, said: "The whole thing was so surreal. It was just a strange situation to be in. There were people's belongings all over the bridge. It was dead quiet there." Dc Tom Hayball, 33, added: "We had walking wounded being tended to by members of the public covered in blood. There was a real sense of community that came out of it."
Prince Charles and Camilla also visited the Royal London Hospital on Tuesday, where they met medical and support staff who were involved in looking after 12 patients admitted following the terror attack. The Duchess praised the hospital's effort, saying that the patients were "in very, very, very good hands – the best possible hands they could be in". Charles told the doctors, nurses and other staff: "I have so much admiration for all you are doing. It's a fantastic team."
The royals heard how passers-by sat on the bridge with injured victims, keeping them talking to avoid losing consciousness, while doctors and ambulance workers treated them. "Everybody seemed to work together as a team. It's Britain at its best, isn't it?" Camilla, 69, said. "There doesn't seem to be any panic. Everybody gets on and does their job."
The couples met some of the patients who had undergone surgery and are now recovering in the Adult Critical Care Unit. Among them was Sunday Express business editor Geoff Ho, who performed martial arts on one of the attackers in an effort to protect a bouncer at the Southwark Tavern in Borough Market. "The man from the Express was just so very brave. I asked him how he was and he seemed very positive but he couldn't really speak because of his injuries," said the Duchess.