UK

London fire: Queen shows how to respond to disaster

The Queen visiting Grenfell Tower Image copyright PA

This is the British monarchy, in action, showing it has learned from its mistakes of the past.

Mistakes that have included the significant time that elapsed before the Queen visited the site of the Aberfan disaster in the 1960s and the "Show us you care" newspaper headlines that were printed 20 years ago in the days following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

As Theresa May is learning to her cost, it is a tragedy with a growing political dimension.

There is a howl of pain and anger being directed at an establishment that has the royals at its heart.

There is the talk of the divide between rich and poor. The Queen's grandson is a millionaire prince living in a palace in the same borough as Grenfell Tower.

In coming to the site, the Queen was acting as "head of the nation" - a focal point at a moment of considerable pain.

She was also providing her prime minister with a masterclass in how to respond on such occasions.