Members of the royal family are attending a ‘Service of Hope’ commemorating the victims of the Westminster attack, which took place last month on 22nd March.
The brutal attack carried out by Khalid Masood left four people dead, including a policeman who was guarding Parliament, PC Keith Palmer.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry have arrived at the service at Westminster Abbey, which is being called a “service of hope”. Also attending the event are the families of the victims, and members of the emergency services who were some of the first on hand when it occurred.
Today’s ceremony will mark the first time the families of the deceased have all come together in one place. The Duke, Duchess and Harry will later meet with the victim’s families, following the service. The victims of the attack included the policeman Keith Palmer, who was 48, Aysha Frade 44, who worked at a London college, retired window cleaner Leslie Rhodes, 75, from south London, and a tourist from Utah, Kurt Cochran, who was 54.
The Dean of Westminster the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, who will be conducting the memorial, has said that the royal family are a “focus of unity” for the nation following the attacks. Before heading in to the ceremony, Prince William, the future King, laid down a wreath in memory, whilst Catherine and Harry stood just behind him looking on. A note on the wreath reads “In memory of the innocent lives; lost to us all on 22nd March 2017.” The note is signed by William.
According to BBC correspondent Peter Hunt, the service is aiming to be full of hope, rather than a memorial. Reportedly, it will focus on the diverse nation of the United Kingdom, and will pray for protection from the “forces of division and hatred”
London major Sadiq Khan is also expected to make a speech at the ceremony.