Queen Elizabeth visits young Manchester attack victims in the hospital
"It’s dreadful. Very wicked."
This story originally appeared on People.com.
Queen Elizabeth made a surprise visit to a children’s hospital that is treating many of the young victims of the horrific tragedy that followed the Ariana Grande concert on Monday, telling one patient that the suicide bombing was “dreadful” and “very wicked.”
The monarch arrived at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital at around 11:20 a.m. Thursday, shortly after Britain had fallen silent for a minute in tribute to the dead and injured as well as their families and loved ones.
Queen Elizabeth told 14-year-old Evie Mills, who received the concert tickets a birthday present, and her parents, “It’s dreadful. Very wicked. To target that sort of thing,” The Telegraph reports.
The Queen reassured them that “everyone is united” following the attack.
She then told the teen that she thought Ariana Grande was a “very good singer,” adding: “She sounds very, very good.”
The Queen also met with Millie Robson, 15, who wore an Ariana Grande T-shirt as her surprise guest asked if she enjoyed the concert prior to the attack. The teen then shared that she had won VIP passes and met the pop star backstage.
The royal visitor wished Millie a quick recovery.
“It’s not something you expect at all,” the Queen told Mille’s father, who was waiting at the exit of the arena when the bomb exploded.
Emily Murrell, 12, missed the Queen’s visit due to a surgery. Her mother Ruth, who was also recovering in the hospital after being hit with shrapnel when the bomb went off, said her daughter would be disappointed.
Queen Elizabeth also met 12-year-old Amy Barlow and her mother, Kathy.
Twenty-two people died, many of them teens and children, and around 75 were injured in the attack at Manchester Arena on Monday.
In a brief tour, the Queen met doctors, nurses and others who have helped save lives in the days since Monday’s attack. The Queen also met the head of the National Health Service trust and the chief nurse and the chief executive.
“The awful thing was that everyone was so young. The age of them,” she told one member of the staff.
The hospital is one of the most important in the U.K. and treats 200,000 people a year.
In a statement signed Elizabeth R. and issued by Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, the monarch said: “The whole nation has been shocked by the death and injury in Manchester last night of so many people, adults and children, who had just been enjoying a concert.
“I know I speak for everyone in expressing my deepest sympathy to all who have been affected by this dreadful event and especially to the families and friends of those who have died or were injured.”
And she praised those who rushed to help. “I want to thank all the members of the emergency services, who have responded with such professionalism and care,” her statement added. “And I would like to express my admiration for the way the people of Manchester have responded, with humanity and compassion, to this act of barbarity.”
The deadly explosion occurred around 10:33 p.m. local time near the ticket office outside Manchester Arena, Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said. Investigators suspect the attack was carried out by Salman Abedi, 22, who detonated an improvised explosive device and died at the scene, Hopkins said.
According to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors militant communication, ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.