Photos: Prince William, Catherine visit riot torn Winson Green — The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Catherine, visited the Summerfield Community Center in Birmingham, England on Friday. The Center is in the heart of the Winson Green Community which endured nights of riots last week. Photographs of the couple show their concern about the issue.
Pictures of Prince William and Catherine show the couple speaking with members of the Police Force of the area. At one point, the Royal couple visited the Machan Express Coffee bar which was ransacked during the violence.
According to Prince Charles’s official website, the couple thanked emergency services staff, met with dignitaries, and comforted the parents of three men who died in the riots. At the coffee bar, they listened while owner Ajay Bhatia and his wife Monika told them about how their business was affected.
“We were determined that we were not going to close the shop and we opened at midday the next day,” said Mr. Bhatia.
Prince William told the shop-owning couple that suffered nearly $33,000 of loss in a looting rampage lasting just over three minutes, “I am sorry this has happened to you.”
The area the Duke and Duchess visited was very near the Dudley Road spot where three men died trying to protect others from looters. The men were hit by a car early in the morning on August 10. Their funeral on Thursday was attended by an estimated 20,000 mourners.
The couple was told that it is important that officials and others listen and try to figure out what the young people involved in the violence were trying to say.
The visit of the Duke and Duchess was the third visit from the British royal family to the areas of the riots — Prince Harry visited Salford on Thursday, and Prince Charles of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall visited North London on Wednesday.
Modern Brits have mixed feelings about the value of the monarchy in their country. Such visits by the royals in difficult times are sometimes interpreted to be an effort at improving their relationship with the public. Others are of the opinion that the popularity of Prince William and Catherine may usher in a new era of favor and interest.
PHOTOS: See pictures of Prince William and Catherine visiting Winson Green here or in the left-hand column of this page.