Prince William and Princess Kate Middleton visited this Friday, April 28, 2023, the area where the Aberfan disaster occurred, one of the biggest incidents in England and which caused great controversy in the royal family.
The Prince and Princess of Wales made their first official visit to the area where the disaster occurred accompanied by survivor David Davies. William and Kate were greeted by a cheering crowd and dozens of children waving Welsh flags.
What really happened in the Aberfan disaster?
In the early morning hours of October 21, 1966, a mudslide from a coal mine spoil heap fell on the village of Aberfan, Wales. Within minutes, the mud flooded the village and killed 144 people, at least 116 of whom were children.
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Most of the children were at Pantglas Junior School. The catastrophe is considered one of the biggest mining disasters in the United Kingdom and also had an impact on Buckingham Palace, affecting the public image of the Queen of England herself.
Despite the magnitude of the catastrophe, the day after the event, the Queen sent her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, and Lord Mountbatten in her place, a decision for which she was heavily criticized and which haunted her for years.
Elizabeth II took eight days to visit Aberfan, a decision that is among the most discussed of her reign. In fact, she went so far as to declare that she “regretted” taking so long, but justified it by saying that, had she been there, the authorities and volunteers would have been more concerned about her than her work.
This event appeared in the third episode of the third season of ‘The Crown’ and shows one of the most difficult moments in the reign of the late monarch Elizabeth II.
57 years later, the Prince and Princess of Wales toured the area to pay tribute to the deceased.
“In Aberfan to pay our respects to the 116 children and 28 adults who lost their lives on 21 October 1966”, read the post shared on the Twitter account.
In Aberfan to pay our respects to the 116 children and 28 adults who lost their lives on 21 October 1966.
Yma yn Aberfan i dalu teyrnged i’r 116 o blant a 28 oedolyn a gollodd eu bywydau ar Hydref 21 1966. pic.twitter.com/vzNkVEPOoi
— The Prince and Princess of Wales (@KensingtonRoyal) April 28, 2023