Following the deadly terrorist attack outside an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, the British people didn't have to wait long to hear from their monarch. On Tuesday, the queen reacted to the Manchester attack with an emotional and touching statement.
The statement was addressed to the Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester but was also made available to the public. In it, the queen expresses her sympathy to the city of Manchester and all of the people affected, along with her thanks to the first responders and her "admiration for the way the people of Manchester have responded, with humanity and compassion, to this act of barbarity." The statement is short and meaningful, and also quite emotional. Although the queen is generally very reserved, the statement is a fitting to the deadliest terrorist attack in the U.K. since 2005.
Currently, it is believed that the attack killed 22 people and injured 59, at least 12 of whom are children under the age of 16. Officials are working hard to identify the victims, who had been enjoying the end of an Ariana Grande concert only minutes before the blast went off. Security services believe that they have identified the attacker, but they have not yet been able to confirm the attacker's identity with 100 percent certainty yet.
In releasing her statement, Queen Elizabeth joins numerous other leaders who have expressed their heartfelt condolences in the wake of the attacks. British Prime Minister Theresa May gave a speech from Downing Street in response, condemning the attack and praising the people who rushed to help the victims. The images of those people, she said, "embody the spirit of Manchester and the spirit of Britain, a spirit that, through years of conflict and terrorism, has never been broken and will never be broken." President Donald Trump called the attackers "evil losers." Ariana Grande herself responded with a heartbroken tweet, and numerous other pop stars rallied to the support of Grande and all of those affected.
This attack is another in a string of 15 deadly terror attacks in Western Europe since the beginning of 2015, many of which, like this one, have been claimed by ISIS. In her statement, however, the queen draws no attention to the attacker or the pattern. Instead, she focuses on a message of compassion and support and celebrates the humanity with which the people of Manchester and elsewhere have responded to this terrible event.
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