Prince William Breaks Royal Protocol to Hug a Victim of the London Fire

He has a good reason to break the rules.

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Prince William visited victims of London's Grenfell Tower fire on Friday. He and the Queen stopped by the Westway Sports Centre, a refuge shelter for survivors and individuals affected by the tragic blaze. The royals met with with locals and members of Emergency Services during their visit—but in one intimate, real and visceral moment the Duke of Cambridge was seen giving one victim an embrace.

The Prince was photographed hugging a distraught woman who grieved for her husband, who went missing in the fire. With the heartfelt exchange, the Duke of Cambridge broke royal protocol. Historically, it's understood that members of the public can't touch members of the royal family, except for with a formal handshake. However, in an emotional situation such as this, a simple handshake won't do. Prince William put his arm around the grieving woman as she buried her face in his chest.

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The fire took place on June 14 at Grenfell Tower, a public housing complex in North Kensington, London. The massive blaze affected all floors of the 24-story building, and 79 people are believed dead from the tragedy.

Places like Westway Sport Center offered refuge for victims, providing shelter, clothing donations and other necessities. In addition to donating his time, Prince William—along with Kate Middleton and Prince Harry—also donated money to the Standard's Dispossessed Fund, which supports those affected by the fire. The trio also urged others to donate as well.

"The tragedy at Grenfell Tower has left a number of local people in need of urgent assistance. As residents of the local area they are keen to offer their immediate support," a statement from Kensington Palace read.

"They hope that by donating to the appeal others in the community who are able will be encouraged to do the same."

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