WASHINGTON – Queen Elizabeth II of England visited a children’s hospital in Manchester on Thursday to comfort several patients injured in Monday’s terror attack, as the nation grieved for the 22 lives lost.
She made bedside visits to the young patients at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, speaking with them and their families.
Elizabeth, 91, also thanked the hospital staff and paramedics for treating the children after the explosion at Manchester Arena. She greeted the employees as they lined the hospital corridors and shook hands with some of them.
Fourteen children remain at the hospital, including five in critical condition. A total of 75 people were admitted to eight hospitals after the attack, whicch occurred Monday night just after Ariana Grande’s concert ended. The blast killed 22 people; only one victim’s name has not been released yet.
The victims include children, teens, mothers and a female off-duty police officer.
Authorities have blamed the attack on suspected suicide bomber Salman Abedin, 22, a British-born Mancunian who recently visited his parents’ homeland of Libya. Authorities are investigating to see if Abedin or his relatives have ties to any terror groups.
The queen’s hospital visit happened shortly after a minute’s silence was held across the country to remember the terror victims. In London, crowds gathered at landmarks including Parliament and Trafalgar Square. In Manchester, thousands of people congregrated at St. Ann’s Square to honor the victims.
On Tuesday during a garden party at Buckingham Palace, the queen held a moment of silence for the victims and everyone affected by the tragedy. Thousands of people from all walks of life are invited to the queen’s garden parties to recognize their public service. Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, stood solemnly and the crowd stood in silence while the British national anthem, “God Save The Queen,” was played.
In a statement Elizabeth released on Tuesday, she expressed her sympathy to everyone affected by “this dreadful event” and thanked all the emergency services workers for their “professionalism and care.”
“The whole nation has been shocked by the death and injuries to the people in Manchester … I would like to express my admiration for the way the people of Manchester have responded, with humanity, humility and compassion, to this act of barbarity.”