Prince William has paid tribute to the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing at the official opening of the public memorial.
The Duke of Cambridge said “as someone who lives with his own grief” it is important that the 22 people who died are not forgotten.
He was addressing families at the Glade of Light memorial, which is near the Manchester Arena, and was accompanied by the Duchess of Cambridge ahead of the fifth anniversary of the attack on 22 May 2017.
The duke said Manchester is an “extraordinary place” that refuses to “look back in anger” but responds to hate with love.
William and Kate attended a short service, where the duke spoke, before walking around the memorial, where the duchess laid flowers.
Relatives of the 22 victims cried as a choir sang Halo by Beyonce.
“For Catherine and I, it is very important that we are with you here today. To remember the 22 lives so brutally taken,” William said.
“To acknowledge the hundreds of lives that were irrevocably changed and to pay tribute to the resilience of this great city.
“I remember only too well the shock and grief on the faces of those I met when I visited Manchester in the days following the atrocity.
“Five years on I know that the pain and the trauma felt by many has not gone away.
“As someone who lives with his own grief, I also know that what often matters most to the bereaved is that those we have lost are not forgotten.
“There is comfort in remembering. In acknowledging that, while taken horribly soon, they lived.
“They changed our lives.
“They were loved, and they are loved. It is why memorials such as the Glade of Light are so important. Why Catherine and I so wanted to be amongst you today.”
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The duke also thanked emergency responders on the night and the Bishop of Manchester said the 22 victims would be “forever in our hearts”.
Suicide bomber Salman Abedi, surrounded by a throng of elated youngsters and parents waiting to collect them in the foyer of the arena after an Ariana Grande concert, exploded a bomb, injuring hundreds and killing 22, including six children.
The bomber’s younger brother, Hashem Abedi, was jailed for life in March 2020 and must serve 55 years before parole for his part in the terror plot.