Today, The Duke of Cambridge and Duke of York commemorated the 10th anniversary since the 7/7 bombings.
Prince Andrew attended a service at St Paul’s, while his nephew, Prince William paid a visit to the memorial built for the victims of the Al-Qaeda led attacks in Hyde Park.
On 7th July 2005, a four suicide bombers detonated their improvised devices on three London tube services during one minute in morning rush hour, and one on a bus service later that afternoon. This was the UK’s worst terrorist attack since the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.
There were 52 victims of the attacks, plus the four suicide bombers.
The Duke of York was present to see four candles, lit earlier at the affected stations, carried through St Paul’s.
The cathedral was perhaps a fitting place for the service, having been a symbol of resilience during WWII, when,magainst the background of a diminished and flattened London, it still stood proud.
Four reflections were also heard from each blast site, and then all 52 names of the victims were read aloud. At 11:30 am, a national silence was held, and petals released from the cathedral dome at its end. A hymn followed.
Bishop of London, Dr Richard Chartres, said of a tribute book written shortly after the attack: “It is a taste of the ocean of pain surrounding the loss of each one of the victims.
“London had been attacked and our unity was in our grieving.”
Prince Charles officially unveiled the 7/7 memorial in Hyde Park in 2009, which constitutes 52 steel columns, one for each victim.
Later in the afternoon, William attended a service at the same memorial. He laid a wreath to honour those killed, alongside bereaved family and friends, bowing his head in remembrance.
A crowd of around 300 gathered to watch the service form the sidelines, guests being those who had lost someone.
Speeches were made by survivors, including Sudhesh Dahad, who said he was ’embarrassed’ by the events a decade ago, and Emily Craig, who was just 14 when the attacks occurred.
Miss Craig held back tears as she spoke, saying “it may not have broken London, but it did break some of us.”
Earlier in the day, during the City’s morning rush hour, Prime Minister David Cameron and Mayor of London Boris Johnson were amongst those who also laid wreaths at the site. A minutes’ silence was held at 8:50 am when the attack occurred.
Tim Coulson, another survivor, read the names of every victim.
Following the service, the Duke spoke with survivors and family of the victims, saying that he ‘knew about loss’ which ‘helps to talk to people’.
Survivor Shanie Ryan said: “What an honour to meet and talk to The Duke of Cambridge today. Such a gentleman and so genuine to talk to”.
Miss Ryan, then 20, had been aboard the Picadilly line, commuting to university; she decided at the last second to hop off the train and give her flat mate a hug. She turned back to re-board the train to find it was full, so she quickly moved to the next carriage as the doors began to close.
That hug “was a split-second decision that probably saved my life,” Shanie said.
Photo: Emma Ailes/Shanie Ryan