Queen notes 'very sombre mood' in Britain on official birthday

As for why the Queen celebrates her birthday twice, the Royal Mint explains, "The official birthday is held in the summer as it means there's a better chance of good weather for the ceremony".

"She's distraught by what happened, as we all are", he said on BBC radio.

She paid tribute to the community and those suffering after the attacks in Westminster, Manchester, and at London Bridge, praising Britons' for their response. The cause of the fire has not yet been announced.

"It was a death trap and they knew it", one person shouted as demonstrators stormed inside the offices of the Kensington and Chelsea council, which was responsible for managing the 1970s social housing block in a working-class enclave of one of Britain's richest areas.

The London Metropolitan Police service said that there were likely no more survivors, which could further increase the death toll and bring it into triple digits. Some 600 people were living in the tower's 120 apartments.

The royal appearance was much appreciated by the majority of people at the site, many of whom say they feel neglected by the government.

Rescue personnel have had difficulty reaching the top floors of the charred, 24-story tower.

Cundy said that search and recovery efforts will take a "significant" amount of time.

Services on the London Tube railway line that runs above ground close to the tower were suspended yesterday, London Fire Brigade said.

May is chairing a government task force on the fire and a spokesman says that she will meet afterward with "a group of residents, victims, volunteers and community leaders" at No. 10 Downing Street.

A series of inquiries have been ordered into incident, as well as review of fire safety measures in similar multi-storey blocks in London and elsewhere.

The queen and Philip stood silently before the start of the annual Trooping the Color procession that marks the queen's official birthday.

Prime Minister Theresa May came in for trenchant criticism from angry victims of Grenfell Tower tragedy for allegedly being "cold as a fish" to it, but Queen Elizabeth II was hailed for reflecting the national mood on Saturday, her official birthday.

May announced a £5 million package to help the victims, and promised to re-house a lot of them in the Kensington and Chelsea borough.

Many are demanding answers for how the blaze spread so quickly.

The Queen has said the country has been "resolute in the face of adversity" following recent tragedies in London and Manchester.

  • Carolyn Briggs