Prince William quietly wrote to the girlfriend of Capitol riot cop Brian Sicknick who died from a stroke a day after the insurrection last year, offering his condolences and praising him for ‘upholding democracy’.
Sicknick’s death has been the subject of ferocious political debate. Democrats blamed the rioters for his death and in the immediate aftermath of the riot, it was claimed he died as the result of being hit over the head with a fire extinguisher.
A medical examiner last year ruled that he died of natural causes brought on by two massive strokes, but they could not prove whether the strokes were the result of any injury he suffered in the riot. Sicknick’s family say they are convinced the strokes were caused by him being pepper-sprayed.
Prince William’s letter breaks from the royal tradition of abstaining from politics both at home and overseas, and is the first time he has waded into US issues. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who live in her native California, routinely comment on American politics and issues.
It reads: ‘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.’
He said he had watched the ‘harrowing events that took place at the Capitol’ and wanted to pay tribute to Sicknick’s ‘patriotism and selflessness’.
‘By all accounts Brian performed valiantly while on duty and despite suffering injuries continued to do his utmost to protect those inside. I hope 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,’ he said.