Paternity leave was over for Prince William on Wednesday 9th May as he returned to work to officially open London Bridge Station. On the same day, it was also announced that William would attend the Manchester Arena National Service of Commemoration on May 22nd, to mark one year since the atrocious terrorist attack on Manchester Arena.
It was back to the day job for Prince William as he officially opened the country’s fourth busiest railway station, London Bridge, following its £1 billion transformations by Network Rail. The improvements mean the station has now doubled its passenger capacity and enabled more and faster connections for passengers.
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The Duke of Cambridge arrived at the station, not on the Royal Train, but on a new Siemens Class 700 Thameslink train where he was greeted by the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, and Chief Executive of Network Rail, Mark Carne. From the platform, Prince William and guests made their way to the new station concourse where they met with apprentices, project leaders and staff involved in the redevelopment.
Guests were treated to a musical performance by children from a local primary school before unveiling a ceremonial ‘sleeper’ to officially mark the opening of the new station.
Chris Grayling commented, “Today, we are indebted to the thousands of men and women who have built a modern, accessible and iconic station fit for London’s future, and the patience of passengers who will now see a transformation in their journeys. It is my honour to welcome The Duke of Cambridge to London Bridge Station to officially declare it open.”
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On the day that Prince William declared London Bridge Station open, a more sombre engagement announcement came from Kensington Palace for The Duke of Cambridge.
On the 22nd May, The Duke of Cambridge will attend the Manchester Arena National Service of Commemoration on the first anniversary of the terrible terrorist attacks at Manchester Arena.
On 22nd May 2017, a homemade bomb was detonated at the Manchester Arena as fans were leaving an Ariana Grande concert. 23 people were killed and over 500 people were injured following the horrific attack. Outpourings of grief came from across the world and Ariana Grande cancelled the remainder of her tour.
She flew back to Manchester in June to host the One Love Manchester Concert at Old Trafford Cricket Ground. Free tickets were offered to those who attended her May 22nd concert and the event raised £10 million for the victims of the attacks.
Prince William will help to commemorate the anniversary of the attacks as he travels to Manchester on Tuesday 22nd May.