Prince and Princess of Wales pay respects to those who lost their lives during Aberfan disaster

The Prince and Princess of Wales have visited Aberfan Memorial Garden to pay their respects to those who lost their lives in the disaster.

Their Royal Highnesses were guided around the garden by one of the Aberfan survivors and Professor Peter Vaughan, Lord Lieutenant of Mid Glamorgan.

The memorial garden sits on the site of the Pantglas school which was tragically destroyed in a coal-tip landslide on 21 October 1966.

The Prince and Princess greeted locals in Aberfan Credit: PA

The incident - which was one of the worst industrial disasters Britain has ever seen - took the lives of 144 people, including 116 children.

Opened in 1974 by Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the garden commemorates the victims of the disaster, whilst also providing a place for bereaved parents, siblings, next of kin, survivors, and the whole community to pay their respects.

  • The moment one-year-old Daniel Williams took a fancy to the Princess of Wales' handbag as she greeted crowds in Aberfan

As the princess met with crowds, she began speaking to Lucy when Daniel snatched her small black handbag from her.

"I am just speechless", Lucy said after the incident.

"It's typical him though. He's a bit of a hurricane, I wouldn't expect anything less!"

Lucy said it was nice to see how the princess reacted in humour.

Their Royal Highnesses met child survivor David Davies during their visit to Aberfan memorial garden earlier this year Credit: PA

"I think she sympathised with how hard it is with children. She said, 'He can have it to play with, I'll come back for it!' like it was any other person in the street."

The Prince and Princess met trustees from the Aberfan Memorial Trust who are involved in ensuring the maintenance of the garden, alongside some of the ‘Aberfan Wives’, relatives of the children who lost their lives during the disaster.

This is William and Kate's second day in Wales, having abseiled together off a cliff in Bannau Brycheiniog on Thursday where they met with mountain rescuers.

The Prince and Princess of Wales spoke to 'Aberfan Wives' during a visit to the Aberfan memorial garden. Credit: PA

They also took part in other training activities such as medical support exercises, watched a search-dog rescue demonstration, and met current and former team members to hear about their experiences spanning the organisation’s six-decade history.

King Charles III and the Queen Consort met with some of the women who lost loved ones in the Aberfan disaster last September at Cardiff castle.

It was the King's first time visiting the Welsh capital as monarch.

In 1966, 116 children and 28 adults were killed when a coal tip which loomed above the village came crashing down on the local school. Credit: PA

Queen Elizabeth II had a strong connection with the Aberfan community, visiting people who had been affected eight days after the disaster - a decision she was always said to have regretted.

The delay attracted criticism with the Queen's former private secretary, the late Lord Charteris, saying he felt he gave her poor advice.

But many in the village felt her presence helped them during a difficult time, creating a special bond.

Her Majesty went on to revisit several times over the decades including to open a community centre in the 1970s and Ynysowen Community Primary School in 2012.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know.