The Queen: Britain is 'sombre' but resolute in the face of crisis, attacks and disaster

Britain is in 'sombre' national mood but that its people remain resolute in the face of a succession of terrible tragedies, the Queen said today.

The Queen and Prince William meet emergency workers near Grenfell TowerReuters

Today is traditionally a day of celebration, she said at the start of her message marking her official birthday. 'The country has witnessed a succession of terrible tragedies.

'This year, however, it is difficult to escape a very' sombre national mood. In recent months, the country has witnessed a succession of terrible tragedies.'

She was referring to the succession of terror attacks in Manchester and London, and now the Grenfell Tower fire disaster. The country has also been troubled by the aftermath of the Brexit vote, with Theresa May's government struggling in the wake of an election where it did far worse than expected and was left with a barely tenable mandate. May herself has faced criticism for the manner of her response to the fire.

The Queen continued: 'As a nation, we continue to reflect and pray for all those who have been directly affected by these events. During recent visits in Manchester and London, I have been profoundly struck by the immediate inclination of people throughout the country to offer comfort and support to those in desperate need.

The Queen meets firefighters at Grenfell Tower fire disasterReuters
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'Put to the test, the United Kingdom has been resolute in the face of adversity. United in our sadness, we are equally determined, without fear or favour, to support all those rebuilding lives so horribly affected by injury and loss.' 

The message was released as a minute's silence was held for fire victims at the Trooping the Colour ceremony, is performed at Horse Guards Parade in London to celebrate the Queen's official birthday 

The Queen was born on April 21, 1926 in Bruton Street in central London when Calvin Coolidge was President of the United States and Josef Stalin had just taken control in the Soviet Union. She became queen in 1952, aged 25.

At 91, she still regularly carries out official duties but has cut back on her number of engagements in recent years. She celebrates two birthdays each year: her actual birthday is on 21 April. Her official one usually falls on the second Saturday in June.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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