Earlier today, Prince William and Prince Harry met with victims of the Grenfell Tower fire to see how they were doing, also highlighting a project to assist them run by the Royal Foundation.
Back in June, a fire raged through a Kensington tower block, killing at least 80+; the unannounced visit saw the brothers go to the Support4Grenfell Community Hub in Kensington, a group established by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry’s Royal Foundation.
The hub is a centre point for organisations already involved in supporting the community to come together to provide additional mental health resources, and the Royals had come to see how victims had coped and been supported a few months later.
The Queen and Duke of Cambridge visited those living in temporary accommodation at a community centre nearby shortly after the fire, with William promising he would return when a man tried to call him over as he left; today he made good his vow.
The Duke and Prince learnt how the community hub would provide mental health resources for the children, young people and families affected by the Grenfell Tower fire, mental health being an issue championed by the and Catherine.
Charities including Child Bereavement UK, Winston’s Wish, the Art Room and Place2Be are all involved in this part of the recovery.
A key part of the visit was hearing the affected’s stories and learning of how they have been supported since.
William spoke to Omar Al Haj Ali, 25, who had lived on the 14th floor, and lost his brother to the blaze. The Duke of Cambridge put his hand on Omar’s shoulder as the Syrian described the awful events: “When the firemen came they pushed me out of the flat but I lost my brother on the way out.
He was still in the building in the smoke and he passed away,” Omar said. “The smoke was so bad we couldn’t see anything.”
William, comforting him, expressed his condolences and told him: “Look after yourself. Take care of yourself.”
The Duke spent the morning in Oxford at a policing conference on the issue of mental health.
William and Harry then visited Al-Manaar, The Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre, to meet members of the community. The centre was one of the first to open its doors in the wake of the tragedy.
Some of the groups they met included a women’s group that encourages members to chat about their problems while cooking, the Grenfell Women’s Group, which has cooked meals for those left homeless, as well as therapists.
Prince Harry chatted to the ‘Hear Women’ group, which runs Cook and Talk sessions to help bring women from all over the community together. He cut a cake to celebrate his visit with leaders.
Prince Charles also visited people affected shortly after the fire, who were trying to piece their lives back together following the tragedy, thanking volunteers for their work.
Of course, loss is not unknown to William and Harry, and both of the Princes encouraged the victims to continue to talk about their grief to prevent any future mental health issues.