Prince William paid tribute to the first responders, victims, and residents of the city of Manchester on Friday, ten days after the suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert on May 22.
Upon making a surprise visit to the Greater Manchester Police headquarters, the Duke of Cambridge listened to officers as they shared their stories from the harrowing night.
Michael Buckley, 47, an off-duty officer whose daughter Stephanie was attending the concert with friends, described frantically trying to contact her following the explosion. “I wanted to know where she was and whether she was okay and then there were all these other people badly injured too,” he told Prince William.
The father and daughter were eventually reunited in a nearby hotel where Stephanie was safe and sound despite suffering a concussion and minor injuries.
“There was one lady who died three times and we got her back three times and then we lost her the fourth time. It was very difficult,” he continued.
Another officer, Chris Jenkins, recalled racing to the scene after hearing the explosion from his home, located five minutes away from the arena. “It was just absolute chaos with people running and screaming in different directions. I was just trying to feed back to comms what I was seeing and hearing. At the time you don’t know the bigger picture,” Jenkins described.
When speaking with People magazine, Jenkins had only kind words to share about the royal’s visit, saying that “he was showing his respect and gratitude for what we did.”
Prince William then met with members of the local community and first responders, including St. John’s Ambulance, Northern Rail, and the British Red Cross. He also stopped by the Manchester Children’s Hospital, where he met privately with the families who have been directly affected by the attack.
The visit comes days after Queen Elizabeth II made her own surprise visit to the city shortly after the incident.