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Royal guidance for Grenfell Tower survivors on coping with trauma

The brothers were shown around the Support4Grenfell community hub, close to where the charred tower block stands in north Kensington.


(Philip Toscano/PA)

(Philip Toscano/PA)

(Philip Toscano/PA)

Prince Harry has urged schoolchildren affected by the Grenfell Tower fire to be there for each other as they come to terms with the tragedy, in an emotional visit with his brother.

The Prince and the Duke of Cambridge met survivors of the high-rise blaze, community volunteers and charity workers as they visited a new centre to provide those affected with psychological support.

Harry has previously admitted he struggled in the years after the shock death of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales, only seeking help more than a decade later.

Harry chatted with pupils at two nearby schools, Kensington Aldridge Academy and Burlington Danes, who said they had been talking and supporting each other following the fire.

Harry replied: “That’s all you can do, is be there for each other because there will be some people… who either don’t want to talk about their experiences… or think they are absolutely fine, and in years’ time, maybe five years time, suddenly they might have some nightmares and that’s when you guys will be crucial, because you have been through that process.”

To one pupil, who said they had felt a “very difficult atmosphere” when they sat an exam after the fire, the prince joked: “Exam conditions are pretty rubbish anyway, I don’t think it’s changed in the last 20 years.”

The brothers were shown around the Support4Grenfell community hub near to the charred tower, a child-friendly area spread over two floors with beanbags, board games and more secluded areas for quiet chats.

The pair were due to be joined by the Duchess of Cambridge, with William apologising to a group of support workers for her absence.

Kate, who is suffering with severe morning sickness, as was the case with her previous pregnancies, was forced to pull out of public engagements on Monday and Tuesday.

The Duke said he was sorry Catherine could not be present, to which a member of the group joked: “She’s got a good excuse.”

He said she would have been “thrilled” to hear of the work charities, such as Place2Be, Child Bereavement UK, and Winstons Wish, were doing to help after Grenfell, and to see the hub being used.

Harry also met Andreia Gomes, her partner Marcio and their two young daughters, Luana, 12 and Megan, 10, who escaped from the 21st floor of the tower on June 14.

Ms Gomes, who was pregnant when the blaze ripped through the building, lost the baby boy she was carrying later that day in hospital.

Asked if the family thought the centre would be useful for them, the couple said: “Yes, especially for the girls.”

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