Kate Middleton and Prince William Visit Ukrainian Cultural Centre in London
By Miguel A. Melendez
Prince William and Kate Middleton spent some time learning about the work being done at the Ukrainian Cultural Centre in London, where volunteers are mounting a humanitarian effort to help those affected near and far.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made the visit Wednesday and were greeted by Ukraine's ambassador to the U.K., Vadym Prystaiko and his wife, Inna. The ambassador and his wife gave William and Kate a tour of the facility, where the royals met with members of the Ukrainian community in London and volunteers.
Kate and William were photographed wearing lapel pins in Ukraine's flag colors, and they listened intently as volunteers walked them through their efforts and the challenges they face trying to get the material to those who need it most. At one point, the duke and duchess were invited to sort and package some of the items that had been donated. Kate also gave workers homemade cookies.
According to Kensington Palace, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge decided to pay the center a visit "to learn about the extraordinary efforts being made to support Ukrainians in the UK and across Europe." The couple also had the opportunity to speak with Saleh Saeed, CEO of the Disasters Emergency Committee, "to learn more about the ongoing Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal and how best the UK public can continue to support Ukraine."
The visit comes about a week after Kate and William were thanked by Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for their support amid the ongoing Russian invasion. The couple had issued a rare statement via their verified Twitter account over the weekend, writing, "In October 2020 we had the privilege to meet President Zelenskyy and the First Lady to learn of their hope and optimism for Ukraine’s future. Today we stand with the President and all of Ukraine’s people as they bravely fight for that future 🇺🇦 W & C."
President Zelenskyy replied, "Olena and I are grateful to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge @RoyalFamily that at this crucial time, when Ukraine is courageously opposing Russia's invasion, they stand by our country and support our brave citizens. Good will triumph."
Also last week, a Buckingham Palace source confirmed to ET that Queen Elizabeth II had made a generous donation privately to the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Humanitarian appeal.