Queen Elizabeth reflects on UK sober mood

The Queen met people affected by the fire during a visit to a temporary shelter.

The Queen of England has said it is “difficult to escape a very sombre national mood” following tragedies in London and Manchester.

The monarch said the UK had “witnessed a succession of terrible tragedies” in recent weeks.

Her official birthday message followed protests over the Grenfell Tower fire which killed at least 30 people.

The Queen’s message stated that: “Put to the test, the United Kingdom has been resolute in the face of adversity.”

Tragedy
It comes after Prime Minister, Theresa May, who was jeered when she visited the Kensington site on Friday, pledged to “get to the bottom” of the west London tower block fire amid mounting criticism of her response to the disaster.

The Queen and Duke of Cambridge had earlier met volunteers, residents and community representatives during a visit to the Westway Sports Centre.

In her statement, described as “unprecedented”, the Queen, who also visited survivors of the Manchester bomb in hospital, said she had been “profoundly struck by the immediate inclination of people throughout the country to offer comfort and support to those in desperate need”.

She added: “United in our sadness, we are equally determined, without fear or favour, to support all those rebuilding lives so horribly affected by injury and loss.”

In a long reign, the Queen has issued countless statements. They can sometimes be formulaic and lack the ability to resonate. This is not one of them.

Intense anger
After the attacks in Manchester and London, the Queen and more importantly her senior advisers, have grasped quickly that the reaction to the Grenfell Tower fire has not just been one of shock and grief.

There’s also intense anger. It has been focused on the divide between rich and poor and it has been directed at an establishment that includes the monarchy, though the institution itself has not been the subject of criticism.

In such circumstances, as Head of Nation, a focal point at times of tragedy, the Queen has decided she cannot remain silent.

She and those around her will be acutely aware of the potential for growing disquiet in the days ahead.

And so, a 91-year-old monarch with little concrete power but considerable patronage and status has decided to act.

This is a regal rallying call for unity.

The fire, at broke out at the 24-storey block, which contained 120 one and two-bedroom flats, shortly before 01:00 BST on Wednesday.

It tore through all floors of the building and took more than 200 fire-fighters 24 hours to bring it under control.

Protests were held in London on Friday as residents demanded more support for those affected by the fire.

Between 50 and 60 people stormed Kensington and Chelsea Town Hall as members of the public said the homeless needed help “right now”.

There were also angry scenes outside the Clement James Centre, in North Kensington.

Dozens of demonstrators surged towards the entrance and there were scuffles outside as organisers appealed for calm.

BBC/Sammie Idika