The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will attend the official opening of the Glade of Light memorial in Manchester on Tuesday 10th May 2022, it has been announced.
Their Royal Highnesses will join families of those who lost loved ones in the 22nd May 2017 terror attack, others who were seriously affected and civic dignitaries at an intimate private ceremony just days ahead of the fifth anniversary.
The Duke will speak at a short ceremony before he and the Duchess are taken on a walk around the Glade of Light site and Her Royal Highness will lay flowers, along with Council Leader Cllr Bev Craig.
Their Royal Highnesses will meet privately with families inside nearby Manchester Cathedral after the opening event.
The Duke of Cambridge previously attended the national service of commemoration at Manchester Cathedral in May 2018, marking the first anniversary.
The Glade of Light is a garden memorial created as a space for reflection and remembrance.
Its centrepiece is a white marble halo bearing the names of the 22 people who lost their lives.
Families of those who lost loved ones have also been able to place personalised memory capsules, containing mementos and messages, inside the halo.
Conceived by designers BCA Landscape and Smiling Wolf as a living memorial, the Glade of Light features plants which grow naturally in the UK countryside and have been selected to provide year-round colour and echo the changing seasons.
“We are honoured to be joined by their Royal Highnesses for the official opening of the Glade of Light,” said Joanne Roney OBE, Chief Executive of Manchester City Council.
“As we approach the fifth anniversary of the 22 May 2017 attack, the Glade of Light is a potent symbol of how Manchester will continue to hold those who lost their lives, and everyone who was affected by those terrible events, in our hearts.
“We will never forget them.”
To ensure the memorial looks its best ahead of the anniversary, the central halo will be cordoned off for a few days in advance of the official opening to allow for cleaning and routine maintenance.
The Glade of Light will be open throughout 22nd May to anyone who wishes to pay their respects.
“The Glade of Light memorial is a permanent fixture in the heart of our city,” said Council Leader Cllr Bev Craig.
“While we remember those affected every single day, as we approach the fifth anniversary it will be particularly poignant as we come together to mark its official opening.”
Throughout the 22nd May itself the city will also observe the anniversary in a variety of other ways, with further details to be announced soon.