The royal brothers offered their support to those who suffered in the tragic blaze

By Simon Perry
September 05, 2017 12:09 PM
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Toby Melville/PA Wire

Prince William and Prince Harry met Tuesday with victims, charity leaders and first responders affected by the Grenfell Tower fire in London.

The royal brothers also visited the Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre Al-Manaar, one of the first places to respond to the June 14 tragedy, which killed at least 80 people.

Through their Royal Foundation, William, Harry and Princess Kate have established a support center to help victims cope with the mental health difficulties that have followed the catastrophic fire.

Kate – who announced Monday that she is pregnant with her third child — had been expected to join the brothers, but she is battling severe pregnancy sickness, Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG), and being cared for at home at Kensington Palace.

William previously visited Grenfell with his grandmother Queen Elizabeth shortly after the fire, which tore through the 24-story block.

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Harry’s appearance came a couple of hours after it was revealed that his girlfriend Meghan Markle spoke for the first time about their relationship, telling Vanity Fair, “We’re two people who are really happy and in love.”

The Royal Foundation has established a Support4Grenfell Community Hub in north Kensington to provide additional mental health resources for the children, young people and families affected by the fire. The Foundation has been working with local leaders and experts in the field, while charity partners like Place2Be, Child Bereavement UK, The Art Room and Winston’s Wish – some of which have longstanding links with the royals – have been helping with the local response.

Harry and William spoke with Harry the Gomes family — parents Marcio and Andreia, both 38, and their daughters Luana, 12, and Megan, 10 — all of whom escaped the fire from their home on the 21st floor only to lose Andreia’s unborn son Logan, who was delivered stillborn hours after the fire.

“Talk about your loss, promise me,” William told the girls. Later, Marcio told reporters, “The princes were amazing. They really knew what they were talking about. You could see that they meant what they were saying.”

Praising them for setting up the hub, he said, “They have seen so many families impacted by the tragedy, and they know what they are going through. Everyone grieves in different ways. It is important that when someone is in pain that they have someone to talk to — not just next month, but next year or the year after.”

Earlier in the day, William – a former air ambulance pilotvowed to help emergency services to cope with the difficulties of tackling tragedies like those at Grenfell Tower. Speaking at a special policing conference on mental health, he said he’d be convening “representatives of the emergency services to consider ways in which society might better support the work you do.”

He added, “The tragedy at Grenfell, and the conclusion of my work as an air ambulance pilot, spurred me to look into doing what I can to support you in a practical way. The reason I think all of this is important is that being a first responder is tough enough as it is. These pressures are not going to go away. Therefore, it is properly essential you are equipped to withstand the realities of 21st-century policing. If more openness about mental well-being is part of the solution, as I believe it is, then I would like to help you with that.”