UK

London fire: Queen's message a 'rallying call for unity'

The queen visited those affected by the fire Image copyright AFP
Image caption The queen visited those affected by the fire on Friday

In a long reign, the Queen has issued countless statements. They can sometimes be formulaic and lack the ability to resonate.

This is not one of them.

After the attacks in Manchester and London, the Queen - and more importantly her senior advisers - have grasped quickly that the reaction to the Grenfell Tower fire has not just been one of shock and grief.

There's also intense anger. It has been focused on the divide between rich and poor and it has been directed at an establishment that includes the monarchy, though the institution itself has not been the subject of criticism.

In such circumstances, as Head of Nation - a focal point at times of tragedy - the Queen has decided she cannot remain silent.

She, and those around her, will be acutely aware of the potential for growing disquiet in the days ahead.

And so, a 91-year-old monarch with little concrete power but considerable patronage and status, has decided to act.

This is a regal rallying call for unity.