The Queen has acknowledged a “very sombre national mood” in a message sent out for her official birthday.
Britain has witnessed a “succession of terrible tragedies,” she said, reflecting on the terror attacks in Manchester, at Westminster and London Bridge as well as the Grenfell tower fire which killed at least 30 people this week.
Her message follows an evening of protests in Kensington, where the fire took place, and outside Downing Street, where angry crowds shouted “May must go“.
Some have criticised the Prime Minister’s handling of the tragedy – unfavourably comparing her visit to the site with that of the Queen, now 91, who met with survivors and emergency responders.
The Queen does not usually issue a message on her birthday but said she has been “profoundly struck” by “the immediate inclination of people throughout the country to offer comfort and support to those in desperate need”.
Her birthday will be celebrated by the Trooping of the Colour parade in central London on Saturday.
The Queen’s message in full:
"Today is traditionally a day of celebration. This year, however, it is difficult to escape a very sombre national mood. In recent months, the country has witnessed a succession of terrible tragedies.
"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.
"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."