Queen Elizabeth reflects on 'sombre national mood' in official birthday message

Royal says the country has been 'resolute in the face of adversity'

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The Independent Online

The Queen has said the country has been "resolute in the face of adversity" following recent tragedies in London and Manchester in a message released on her official birthday.

But she said it was "difficult to escape a very sombre national mood" 

"Today is traditionally a day of celebration," she said. "This year, however, it is difficult to escape a very sombre national mood.

Hundreds attend candlelit vigil for Grenfell Tower victims

"As a nation, we continue to reflect and pray for all those who have been directly affected by these events.

"During recent visits in Manchester and London, I have been profoundly struck by the immediate inclination of people throughout the country to offer comfort and support to those in desperate need."

The monarch visited the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital following the Manchester Arena attack in which 22 people were killed following an Ariana Grande concert.

She added: "Put to the test, the United Kingdom has been resolute in the face of adversity.

"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."

Her speech came less than 24 hours after she visited residents, volunteers and emergency service personnel at a makeshift relief centre for Grenfell Tower fire victims with her grandson Prince William. 

The royals were met by a crowd of around 40 people at the Westway Sports Centre near the remains of the burned out building in north Kensington

The Queen paid tribute to the "bravery" of firefighters and the "incredible generosity" of volunteers, while Prince William, a strong campaigner on mental health issues, said it was important that those affected spoke about their trauma. 

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