A moving experience in the foyer of Manchester Arena during royal visit

Standing in the foyer of Manchester Arena, as I did earlier on Monday, was a very moving experience.

I was one of a handful of people in that room as the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall were shown the spot where Salman Abedi looked at the excited young faces around him on a Monday night – and detonated his bomb.

Charles and Camilla stood in what was a very silent space, and looked down at the pitted floor next to their feet where the explosion took place.

Salman Abedi detonated his bomb in the arena's foyer. Credit: PA

It was the middle of the afternoon but the foyer is half lit: boards have been put up where there were once glass ceilings and glass walls.

And in the walls which were not glass – you can see a number of holes.

The physical reminders of the sickening act which took place here on that evening on May 22.

There will be no events at the arena until September. Credit: PA

The shrapnel from Abedi’s bomb also left inch wide holes in a metal door 30 feet away.

The Prince and Duchess stopped and looked at the door in disbelief before they left the room.

“They didn’t stand a chance,” a medic said to me shortly afterwards as his mind was cast back to the night of unimaginable horror after the concert by Arianna Grande which was mostly attended by young girls.

The Duchess of Cornwall told staff they had 'saved lives'. Credit: PA

After they left the foyer, Charles and Camilla went into the main arena – where so many excited teenagers enjoyed the concert.

Ariana Grande was the last person to perform on the stage here.

It now stands empty and will not see another performance until at least September.

Prince Charles praised staff for their 'amazing' work. Credit: PA

In the arena this afternoon, there was a crowd of security teams and medics who rushed into the foyer before any of the emergency services had arrived.

“You saved lives,” the Duchess told them adding it must have been so hard, “especially with kids.”

“Make sure you’re all talking to each other,” she stressed, thinking of the impact this must have had on the minds of those who witnessed such an horrific scene.

Prince Charles praised them all for their “amazing” first aid skills.

As the Duchess left the Arena, she pinned a badge to her jacket.

It was the badge with the slogan which came to symbolise Manchester’s defiance after the attack: “I LOVE MCR”.

The Duchess of Cornwall is presented with a broach in the shape of a worker bee, a symbol of Manchester. Credit: PA