Queen meets 7/7 bombing survivor eight years after first meeting at Royal London Hospital
15:05 27 February 2013
One of the survivors of the July 7 terrorist bombings in London met the Queen this morning, eight years after speaking to her in the aftermath of atrocity.
The Queen met dance teacher Bruce Lait at the Royal London Hospital, where she first met him the day after the 2005 attacks on the London Underground and bus network, which killed 52 people.
Mr Lait, 39, was treated at the hospital after being caught up in the Aldgate tube blast.
The Queen the Duke of Edinburgh were at the east London hospital today to open the National Centre for Bowel Research and Surgical Innovation.
Mr Lait, from Ipswich, and his dance partner Crystal Yelland were invited by Buckingham Palace to meet the royals today.
He said afterwards: “I said that I looked a bit different to the last time she saw me.
“She said ‘Yes, I remember. You look a lot better now’.”
Mr Lait was left partially deaf and suffered facial burns in the bombing.
He told the inquest into the attack how he held the hand of victim Fiona Stevenson until she died at the scene.
Mr Lait added that when he told the Queen he was now partially deaf, she replied: “So you can still keep in time? You can still dance then?”. He replied that he could.
Mr Lait is now married to Ildiko, 35, a Hungarian former Olympic gymnast with whom he has two children, Izabell, four, and nine-month-old Benjamin.
They met in Blackpool after the bombing as he and Crystal toured with the Simply Ballroom stage show.
The dancers, who competed against Anton Du Beke and other Strictly Come Dancing stars, had been on their way to rehearsals for the show in the West End when the bomb went off.
Mr Lait told how he had been struck by the Queen’s compassion when they first met in 2005.
He said: “She seemed genuinely concerned.
“She asked me personal questions about how I felt and how things were going. I felt that she cared.”
The Queen, dressed in a lilac dress with matching hat, toured the new London Children’s Hospital, based at the Royal London, with Philip.
The hospital, which treats 40,000 patients a year, is located across three adjacent floors of the new buildings.
Young patients were closely involved in its planning, including indoor and outdoor play areas.
They then went to The Renal Centre, meeting kidney dialysis and transplant patients.
They finished their tour by officially opening the National Centre for Bowel Research and Surgical Innovation.
The centre, which opened last year, is a collaboration between the Bowel & Cancer Research charity, St Bartholomew’s Hospital (Barts) the London School of Medicine and Dentistry.
The Queen and Duke met some of the 30 clinicians and scientists involved in groundbreaking research into bowel disorders including cancer, colitis, faecal incontinence and constipation which affect millions of people in the UK.
The centre includes state-of-the-art laboratories dedicated to the study of human tissue from surgical patients.
There is also a video link from the operating theatre to a training room so that surgeons can watch new procedures being carried out.