Prince William hugged a victim of Wednesday’s deadly west London fire (which currently has a death toll of 58 people) when he made a visit to a crisis center on Friday.
The prince’s embrace broke with royal protocol — touching royal members is historically reserved for handshakes — and instead embraced the distressed woman who was reportedly desperate to locate her husband who was trapped an elevator during the time of the fire.
Queen Elizabeth II, 91, and her grandson, 34, had made an emotional visit together on Friday to see the survivors, meet with victims’ families and rescue workers who were affected by the inferno, which engulfed the Grenfell Tower in London.
In an unannounced tour of the area, the royals went to the Westway Sports Centre close to the tower. The venue had been a focal point for efforts to support those affected by the fire which engulfed the apartment tower in a matter of minutes. During the visit, they met with first responders from the Emergency Services, as well as local residents and community representatives.
William, Princess Kate, and Prince Harry had also made a donation to a fund to help the families who were made homeless by the tragedy.
“The tragedy at Grenfell Tower has left a number of local people in need of urgent assistance,” a spokesman for the three royals at Kensington Palace said. “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry are pleased the Evening Standard’s Dispossessed Fund has immediately swung into action. As residents of the local area they are keen to offer their immediate support.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Theresa May has been criticized for her slowness in visiting the victims of the fire — her visits took place more than 48 hours after the fire broke out — and refusal to answer questions about government oversights that might have increased the deadly nature of the blaze.
On Saturday, William was back to royal business when he took part in this year’s Trooping the Colour, which is the public celebration of the Queen’s birthday and features a fabulous military parade.