Prince William sent condolences to the girlfriend of a Capitol Police officer who died in the days following the Jan. 6 riot, a rare personal acknowledgment of politics in the United States on the part of the royal family.
The prince lauded Officer Brian Sicknick for his “patriotism and selflessness” while defending the Capitol from rioters in a “harrowing” attack, according to a copy of the letter he sent to Sicknick’s girlfriend. The officer died one day after the Jan. 6 riot after suffering two strokes.
“Please forgive me if I am intruding but I wanted to write and let you know how sorry I am about the death of your partner, Brian,” William wrote.
Sicknick’s girlfriend, Sandra Garza, noted she didn’t receive similar communications from any U.S. political figures at the time — particularly from former President Donald Trump.
“Trump does not give two craps about law enforcement or Brian, and yet Prince William took the time to honor me and Brian,” Garza told CNN’s Jake Tapper.
William had watched a documentary detailing the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, spurring him to write the September 2021 letter to Garza, he said. The video footage detailed scenes from the riot when the mob breached the Capitol building.
“By all accounts Brian performed valiantly whilst on duty and despite suffering injuries continued to do his utmost to protect those inside,” the prince wrote. “I was terribly saddened to hear that he passed away the following day and hope that you can take some comfort from knowing that it is thanks to law enforcement officers like Brian that the situation did not escalate further and democracy was upheld.”
Sicknick’s death, which some originally attributed to the Capitol riot, was the result of natural causes stemming from a stroke suffered on Jan. 7, 2021, according to the chief medical examiner for Washington, D.C.
The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack at the Capitol wrapped up its third day of hearings on Thursday, detailing evidence lawmakers say proves Trump forged ahead with efforts to overturn the election that he knew were illegal. These actions, lawmakers argue, led to the violence at the Capitol.