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William and Kate to attend opening of memorial to Manchester Arena bomb victims

2 years ago

William and Kate to attend opening of memorial to Manchester Arena bomb victims

The new memorial to those killed in the Manchester Arena terror attack will be officially opened by William and Kate ahead of the fifth anniversary of the atrocity.

William and Kate are to attend the official opening of the memorial to the 22 people murdered in the Manchester Arena terror attack.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will gather at a service at the Glade of Light – a white marble “halo” bearing the names of those killed in the May 2017 outrage – on May 10, just ahead of the fifth anniversary of the atrocity.

William will speak at the short ceremony and Kate will lay flowers.

The couple will also join a private reception inside Manchester Cathedral afterwards to speak to some of the bereaved families and those involved in the response effort, Kensington Palace said.

The tribute, which opened to the public in January, is located alongside the cathedral and was designed following an international competition.

Personalised memory capsules, filled with memories and mementoes of those killed provided by their loved ones, have been embedded within the stone.

The 22 victims of the terror attack (Greater Manchester Police/PA)

It is conceived as a living memorial – a peaceful garden space for remembrance and reflection, featuring plants which grow naturally in the UK countryside selected to provide year-round colour and echo the changing seasons.

Around the anniversary every year, May 22, the white flowers of a hawthorn tree planted at its centre will bloom.

William previously attended a National Service of Commemoration at the cathedral in 2018 to remember those who lost their lives.

Hundreds of people were injured alongside the 22 who died, who included six children under 16 with the youngest aged just eight, in the attack by suicide bomber Salman Abedi at the end of an Ariana Grande concert.

Joanne Roney, chief executive of Manchester City Council, said:

“As we approach the fifth anniversary of the May 22 2017 attack, the Glade of Light is a potent symbol of how Manchester will continue to hold those who lost their lives, and everyone who was affected by those terrible events, in our hearts.

“We will never forget them.”

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