Spain's King Felipe VI and his wife Queen Letizia visited the victims of the Barcelona terror attack in hospital earlier today. (19 August)

The King and Queen met with medical staff at the Hospital de la Santa Creu who were praised for their swift response to the van attack on Thursday (17 August) which left 14 people dead and 130 injured.

The royal couple also spoke to many of the victims offering words of comfort and support as they heard the details of their ordeal as a van ploughed into the crowd on Las Ramblas, Barcelona's most popular thoroughfare.

Queen Letizia spoke to two children and their father who were recovering from their injuries. Crouching in front of the child she tenderly placed her forehead against the child's head as she comforted her.

Accompanied by The Spanish Minister of Health Dolors Montserrat the King held another child's hand as he listened to his account of the horrific attack.

Catalonia's emergency services have said that as of today 54 people remain in the hospital, 12 of them in critical condition, from both attacks.

King Felipe and Queen Letizia meet victims
The royal couple meet medical staff who tended to the victims at the Hospital de la Santa Creu AFP/Getty

Following the atrocity the Queen sent a message to King Felipe of Spain, offering her condolences as she described events in Barcelona and Cambrils, as "deeply upsetting".

She said: "It is deeply upsetting when innocent people are put at risk in this way when going about their daily lives.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost loved ones and the people who are recovering in hospital."

King Felipe and Queen Letizia meet victms
In a tender moment the Queen pressed her head against a child's forehead as she offered words of comfort AFP/Getty

As Spain mourns for the victims, yesterday, accompanied by his wife, King Felipe led a minute's silence in the Placa Catalunya, close to the scene of the attack.

Responding to the attack the Spanish Royal Court released a defiant statement on behalf of the royal family. It read: "They are murderers, just criminals who will not terrify us. All Spain is Barcelona. Las Ramblas will be back to everyone."

The so-called 'Islamic State' (IS) has claimed responsibility for the Barcelona attack and a second attack in Cambrils where five men wearing fake suicide belts drove an Audi A3 into crowds on the seafront.

King Felipe and Queen Letizia meet victims
King Felipe holds the hand of one of the young victims of the terror attack in Barcelona that left 14 dead and 130 people injured AFP/Getty

A woman was killed and five people injured in the attack while police killed the five suspects in a shootout at the scene.

It's now thought that the terrorists had planned an even larger scale attack and intended to drive three vans packed with explosives into key tourist sights including, Las Ramblas, the Sagrada Familia cathedral and in the port city of El Espanol.

King Felipe and Queen Letizia
Spain's King Felipe VI (3rdL) and Queen Letizia (3rdR) lay a wreath of flowers for the victims of the Barcelona attack on Las Ramblas boulevard, in Barcelona on August 19, 2017, two days after a van ploughed into the crowd killing 14 people and injuring 130 AFP/Getty

Police have said the 12-person terror cell has been dismantled with 11 of the suspects either in custody or dead. However, the driver of the van, 22-year-old Younes Abouyaaqoub, remains at large.

French officials have increased security on the border with Spain amid fears the the Moroccan terrorist - who is believed to be the ringleader of the terror cell- could slip into the country. A French security official also told Associated Press that Spain had flagged a Renault Kangoo utility vehicle – believed to have been rented by a suspect – that could have already crossed the border.

Extra border checks are being carried out on people coming from Spain, Mail Online reports.

Three days of mourning have been declared by the government of Catalonia.