MANCHESTER, England Queen Elizabeth met some of the young victims of the Manchester bombing in hospital on Thursday as well as doctors, nurses and members of the emergency services who responded to the attack that killed 22 and injured more than 100.
The queen spoke to patients at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, where 19 casualties are still being treated after what she called the "wicked" blast, five in critical care.
Asked by the queen if she had come to Manchester especially for the Ariana Grande concert, 14-year-old Evie Mills, from Harrogate, said yes, it was a birthday present.
"She (Grande) sounds very, very good, a very good singer," the queen responded in footage broadcast by Sky News. "It's dreadful. Very wicked ... to target that sort of thing."
Wearing an orange hat and bright blue jacket, the queen was met with cheers at the hospital and in comments to Mills and her parents, noted how "everyone's united here".
Eight hospitals in and around the northern English city treated 116 casualties injured in the blast after the concert on Monday evening, NHS England said on Thursday, and 23 remain in critical care.
"She's lovely, it was just ... mindblowing really -- you just wouldn't really expect it," 15-year-old Millie Robson from County Durham told Sky News after meeting the queen.
(Reporting by William James; Writing by Paul Sandle; Editing by Catherine Evans)