Prince William made a surprise visit to Manchester on Friday (June 2) to show his support for the city following the horrific attack at Manchester Arena. Kensington Palace said that the Duke wanted to visit to "acknowledge and thank the people of Manchester for their strength, decency and kindness". The Prince arrived at around 10.30 on Friday morning at the Greater Manchester Police headquarters to meet some of the officers who were first to respond to the incident. He was greeted by Chief Constable Ian Hopkins, and as he toured the facility was told first-hand how the force responded to the May 22 bombing. Among those he met was British Transport Police officer Phil Healey, who spoke to the royal about his experience of that night, revealing that he was first at the scene to search for a secondary bomb.
After leaving the police headquarters, William travelled to Manchester Cathedral, waving to people gathered outside as he made his way in. He there spent time talking to volunteers from St John's Ambulance, listening intently as they shared their stories and experiences of the attack with him. He also signed the book of condolences inside the cathedral, writing: "Manchester's strength and togetherness is an example to the world. My thoughts are with those affected." William will next head to the Manchester Royal Infirmary, where he will meet the families of those still in intensive care. It is the second royal visit to Manchester in the wake of the terror attack. Last week, the Queen met with injured youngsters at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. She condemned the "wicked" atrocity as she spoke to a number of the survivors during her time in the city.
Following the attack, Prince William released a statement expressing his shock and sorrow. It read: "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. 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."
In total, 22 people were killed in the terror attack on 22 May, which took place immediately after an Ariana Grande concert. On Sunday, a host of stars will descend on Manchester to perform in the One Love Manchester benefit concert. Justin Bieber, Take That, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Niall Horan, Coldplay, Robbie Williams and Little Mix all appear on the line-up, alongside Ariana. Tickets for the event, which were released on Thursday, sold out in just six minutes.