Prince William“s friend and his fiancée have described how they were caught up in the tragic Boston bombings, as Prince Harry vowed to honour his long-standing commitment at the London Marathon on Sunday in defiance of the blast.
Peregrine Hood — a friend of both Prince William and Tom Parker Bowles, the Duchess of Cornwall“s son — took part in Monday”s marathon in Boston where he was cheered on by Serena Nikkah, fashion executive at UK Vogue.
He has spoken about the “terrible uncertainty” he endured for around half an hour before confirming that his fiancée was safe.
“She literally ran for her life,” he told the London Evening Standard. “I was getting ready to finish when I heard a bang.
“The headphones were on, the euphoria was setting in and then I got a ghastly feeling that something was wrong. Then there was massive confusion, people running, so I just stopped and started moving away.”
Serena, who has previously worked for Armani and Marc Jacobs, was caught up in the crowd of panic-stricken spectators and runners. She expressed her relief at having survived the tragedy.
“I could not be more thankful Peregrine and I are safe,” she wrote on Twitter. “My prayers go out to those just across the stands from me who were in the blast.”
Her husband-to-be — a foreign exchange dealer at Morgan Stanley, who studied at Eton — also said online how “lucky” he was to escape without injury.
“Ironic really that the charity I saw many people running for — the US Red Cross — has been so pivotal in helping the victims,” he wrote. “People of Boston should be proud of themselves — I witnessed some incredibly selfless acts.”
The tragic events at the Boston Marathon claimed the lives of three people, including an eight-year-old boy, and injured more than 170.
Focus has now fallen on Sunday”s London Marathon, which organisers have confirmed will go ahead in defiance of the bombers who struck in the US.
Leading the country in its show of solidarity is Prince Harry. The third-in-line, who is patron of the London Marathon Charitable Trust, will still attend the race and hand out medals to the winners. He is also expected to spend time at the finish line.
“As far as we are concerned, there”s nothing to suggest any change,” a St James”s Palace spokesman confirmed.
London Marathon organisers have announced that Sunday”s runners will observe a 30-second silence before each of the three starts.
Participants will also be encouraged a wear a black ribbon given to them when they pick up their race number as a show of unity with the victims of Monday”s attack.