Kate Middleton meets First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska before Queen Elizabeth’s Funeral

Kate Middleton had a sit-down meeting with Olena ZelenskaFirst Lady of Ukraine, before both attended Queen Elizabeth’s Funeral in Monday.

The royal held a private meeting with Zelenska at Buckingham Palace on Sunday in her new official capacity as Princess of Wales. The First Lady visited London as she is one of 500 dignitaries and world leaders who will attend the late king’s funeral to pay her respects. Zelenska’s husband President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expected to stay in Ukraine amid Russia’s continued invasion of the country. Zelenskyy was praised by many members of the royal family for his leadership and bravery. Russian President Vladimir Putin was reportedly not invited to Queen Elizabeth’s funeral.

Kate and her husband Prince William previously stated in February that they stand with “all Ukrainians” in the early days of the invasion. The royal couple released a joint statement via their @KensingtonRoyal Twitter account at the time, writing: “In October 2020, we had the privilege of meeting the President. [Volodymyr] Zelensky and the First Lady to learn about their hopes and optimism for Ukraine’s future. ” They continued, “Today we stand with the President and all Ukrainians as they bravely fight for that future.” They concluded with an emoji of the Ukrainian flag and their initials “W&C.”

A few weeks after announcing their support, the Prince and Princess of Wales visit the Ukrainian Cultural Center in London where they helped sort and package donations bound for some of the more than 1 million refugees who have fled the country since the start of the Russian invasion. Kate and William both wore matching pins for the event featuring the blue and yellow Ukraine flag, and Kate also wore a bright blue Alexander McQueen sweater. The royals also made their own contributions, providing some homemade macaroons and granola bars to share with all the volunteers.

Some of those donations are being handled by the Disaster Emergency Committee, which sponsors the charity Queen Elizabeth made a “generous” private donation at the beginning of the war in Ukraine. “Many thanks to Her Majesty the Queen for her continued support of the Disaster Emergency Committee and generous contribution to the Ukraine Humanitarian DEC called for,” the group said in a statement. a tweet at that time. The Disaster Emergency Committee is an umbrella organization for 15 different UK charities, allowing them to launch collective fundraisers and coordinate their response to disasters abroad.

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