Notting Hill Carnival dove release honours Grenfell Tower victims

Revellers at the world famous event observed a minute’s silence in memory of the dozens who perished in the tower-block fire.

Victims of the Grenfell Tower fire have been remembered at the start of the Notting Hill Carnival with the release of dozens of white doves.

The poignant gesture came at the official opening ceremony of the two-day world famous event, which takes place in the shadow of the charred remains of the high-rise block where at least 80 people died in June.

:: Grenfell: Remembering the victims

The birds were released from the hands of survivors and local residents, as well as the leader of Kensington and Chelsea council Elizabeth Campbell, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Kensington MP Emma Dent Coad.

  1. Paint-covered revellers take part in the traditional 'J'ouvert' opening parade of the Notting Hill carnival
  2. Grenfell tower is seen in the distance as revellers take part in Notting Hill Carnival
    This year’s Notting Hill Carnival took place against the backdrop of the Grenfell Tower disaster
  3. Doves are released as a show of respect for those who died in the Grenfell Tower fire
  4. Doves are released as a show of respect for those who died in the Grenfell Tower fire
  5. People observe a minute's silence in memory of the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire
  6. Dancers perform during the Family Day parade at the Notting Hill Carnival
  7. Crowds attend the Family Day at the Notting Hill Carnival
  8. A young reveller takes part in the children's parade during the Notting Hill Carnival
  9. Young revellers take selfies during the children's parade at the Notting Hill Carnival
  10. A young reveller takes part in the children's parade during the Notting Hill Carnival
  11. A young reveller takes part in the children's parade during the Notting Hill Carnival in London
  12. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan with performers during the Notting Hill Carnival Family Day
  13. Revellers during the Family Day at the Notting Hill Carnival
  14. Revellers walk through Notting Hill Carnival
  15. Revellers walk through Notting Hill Carnival
  16. Paint-covered revellers take part in the traditional 'J'ouvert' opening parade of the Notting Hill carnival
  17. Grenfell tower is seen in the distance as revellers take part in Notting Hill Carnival
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A prayer was also held, along with a heartfelt performance of Bridge Over Troubled Water.

Those taking part in the carnival had responded to the call to go “green for Grenfell” by sporting the colour.

Ms Dent Coad, wearing a green scarf, said the carnival was “a day to set aside our burden of sadness”.

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Video: Khan dedicates Carnival to Grenfell victims

Mr Khan, wearing a dark green top, told the crowd: “Over this carnival weekend, we pledge to redouble our efforts to support this community.

“We make sure we have in our thoughts and our prayers all of those affected by the awful Grenfell Tower tragedy.

“Part of that pledge is making sure we get justice, we find out exactly what happened, we make sure those responsible are held to account, and also so this never, ever, ever happens again.”

The Grenfell disaster has had a significant impact on this year's carnival
Image: The Grenfell disaster has had a significant impact on this year’s carnival

Where performers pass close to the tower, they have been encouraged to lower the volume of their music and walk respectfully in memory of those who perished in the tragedy.

At 3pm on Sunday, revellers bowed their heads to observe a minute’s silence.

Following Sunday’s tribute, there was spontaneous applause and cheering by festival-goers outside a fire station, to honour the crews who fought so hard to rescue people from the devastating blaze.

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A minute’s silence is also planned for Monday at the same time.

Posters have also been put up at spots where the tower is visible, asking the public not to take photographs “at the site of our great loss”.

Sky News’ Joe Tidy, who is covering the event, said there was a very different feel to the carnival because of what had happened just 10 weeks ago at Grenfell Tower.

He said: “The block looms large over many of the streets here and although it’s still a celebration and festival, you are constantly reminded of the tragedy.”

Source: skynews

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