Kate and William pay respects to Grenfell victims at service with bereaved families

Kate and William attended the service at the base of the north Kensington tower block

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have joined bereaved families and survivors for a multi-faith service at the base of Grenfell Tower to remember the 72 people who died there five years ago.

William and Kate chatted with attendees before taking their seats in the front row for the service at the base of the north Kensington high-rise.

A 72-second silence in memory of the 72 victims of the fire, which took place exactly five years ago, was observed by attendees including William and Kate, and followed by applause.

Green balloons were then released in memory of the 18 children who perished.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spoke with bereaved families ahead of the service.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spoke with bereaved families ahead of the service.

It follows a memorial service on Tuesday morning at Westminster Abbey, during which one of the abbey bells tolled 72 times in memory of the 72 men, women and children who lost their lives in the fire.

Multi-faith leaders read out the names of the victims of the tragedy, with former Prime Minister Theresa May, London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Housing Secretary Michael Gove, building safety and fire minister Stephen Greenhalgh, and Shadow Housing Secretary Lisa Nandy in attendance.

Theresa May, Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove and Nick Hurd before the Grenfell fire memorial service at Westminster Abbey in London.
Theresa May, Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove and Nick Hurd before the Grenfell fire memorial service at Westminster Abbey in London.

After each group of names was read out, the congregation said in unison “Forever in our hearts” – the phrase emblazoned across the top of the covered-up tower in north Kensington.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid respects, tweeting: “Today marks five years since the Grenfell Tower fire took the lives of 72 people.

“My thoughts are with the survivors, those who lost loved ones and the wider community.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer posted: “Five years on from the Grenfell tower fire we remember the 72 people killed.

“The Grenfell community are courageous in their pursuit of justice and change.

“We stand with them. To honour the memories of those lost we must prevent such a tragedy happening again."

The campaign group Grenfell United posted: “On this day five years ago, people came in solidarity & opened their hearts.

“It showed the power of unity, regardless of faith, race or background; uniting in the face of adversity.

“Today, we remember the kindness the public showed – it gave us the strength to keep going.”

In the evening, firefighters from across the country will form a guard of honour as members of the community take part in a silent walk starting from the base of the tower.