Queen's visits to Manchester after IRA and Arena bombings 'genuinely cheered up' survivors

The Queen provided a 'boost' after visiting survivors of the Manchester Arena bombing and the IRA attack on the city centre, those who met her have said.

Her Majesty was seen a beacon of hope when she made the trip to the city after the biggest bomb ever to be planted on UK mainland since the Second World War was detonated in 1996.

The explosion ripped through the city centre but, despite extensive damage, and a remarkable evacuation, no-one was killed. However, 200 people were left injured.

A visit from the Queen to Manchester in 1996

Her Majesty visited those who had helped in the aftermath of the attack, including dog handler John Scanlan, one of the first police officers to arrive at the scene.

"She was coming to see us and what was left of Manchester city centre," John said.

"For the people of Manchester, that's why she was coming. It was brilliant, I was well made up."

He was given extra training in royal etiquette, saying: "We had to wear gloves, which we did mostly anyway to shake her hand.

"To address her as Your Majesty first, then ma'am, not marm, it's Ma'am."

And, when another bomber claimed the lives of 22 people in May 2017 she returned to the city to show the same compassion as she had 20 years previously.

Millie Robinson met the Queen in 2017 after the Manchester Arena attack Credit: PA Images

She visited Manchester Children's Hospital, greeting staff who had worked tirelessly to treat those caught up in the blast, as well as children who had survived but seen things no one ever should.

Millie Robson, from County Durham, suffered shrapnel injuries, and says she was "in shock" at meeting the Queen.

"I was just in complete shock really, I was just really excited to tell my grandma.

"I made sure to wash my hair and I put on my Ariana Grande T-shirt as well and I made sure I didn't look like a complete mess before she came.

"She was like exactly what I expected her to be, posh, small and polite. She was really nice."

Her Majesty described the attack as wicked but praised the way people had come together.

Dr Naomi Davis, from Manchester Children's Hospital, said: "When the Queen came you could feel the hospital lift and that was lovely, she really did provide that boost."

"It was overwhelmingly nice and it had such a positive impact on everyone who was in the ward, it genuinely cheered everybody up."

In times of darkness Her Majesty helped Manchester see the light.

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