Kate Middleton and Prince William welcome Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Buckingham Palace


Back to business! Kate Middleton is elegant in a blue belted dress as she joins Prince William to welcome Ukraine’s president and First Lady to Buckingham Palace in their first audience since lockdown

  • Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy 
  • Kate Middleton and Prince William’s first audience at the palace since lockdown
  • Mr Zelenskyy has travelled to London with a ministerial delegation
  • The Duchess looked typically elegant in a belted blue dress for the meeting 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcomed the President and First Lady of Ukraine to Buckingham Palace today in their first audience since the start of lockdown.

Kate Middleton, 38, looked elegant in a cornflower blue belted dress as she joined Prince William, 38, for the meeting with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his wife Olena in the opulent Throne Room. 

The couples did not wear masks but observed social distancing and appeared in good spirits during the meeting, the first royal event to take place at Buckingham Palace since March.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge held the audience on behalf of the Queen, 94, who is staying at Windsor Castle and carrying out a limited number of engagements.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have welcomed the president and first lady of Ukraine to Buckingham Palace in their first audience since the start of lockdown

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have welcomed the president and first lady of Ukraine to Buckingham Palace in their first audience since the start of lockdown

The Cambridges shared a photo of the meeting on Twitter shortly afterwards

The Cambridges shared a photo of the meeting on Twitter shortly afterwards

The Cambridges did not shake hands with their guests, as would have been customary before lockdown, but did stand up to greet the Ukranian visitors, pictured

The Cambridges did not shake hands with their guests, as would have been customary before lockdown, but did stand up to greet the Ukranian visitors, pictured

Kate looked elegant in a cornflower blue belted dress, thought to be by Emilia Wickstead

Kate looked elegant in a cornflower blue belted dress, thought to be by Emilia Wickstead

William and Kate have taken part in a number of engagements since the easing of lockdown restrictions – including a visit by Kate Middleton to Derby University yesterday – but this is their first audience with a world leader in seven months.  

The Cambridges did not shake hands with their guests, as would have been customary before lockdown, but did stand up to greet the Ukranian visitors.  

During the brief meeting, the couples stood socially distanced before moving to two separate ornate sofas to continue their conversation.

Kate, who was dressed in a cornflower blue belted dress, and William, in a suit and tie, were seen smiling broadly as they spoke to their guests.

Comedian-turned-politician Mr Zelenskyy has travelled to London with a ministerial delegation on a two-day visit.

He will also sign the Political, Free Trade and Strategic Partnership Agreement with Boris Johnson on Thursday.

The Duke of Cambridge looked animated as he spoke to his guests in the Throne Room

The Duke of Cambridge looked animated as he spoke to his guests in the Throne Room

During the brief meeting, the couples stood socially distanced in the Throne Room (pictured) before moving to two separate ornate sofas to continue their conversation

During the brief meeting, the couples stood socially distanced in the Throne Room (pictured) before moving to two separate ornate sofas to continue their conversation

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and his wife, Olena. The couple moved to the sofas (pictured) during the brief audience

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and his wife, Olena. The couple moved to the sofas (pictured) during the brief audience

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the agreement is a ‘clear demonstration’ of the UK’s commitment to Ukraine’s prosperity and security.

Mr Raab will meet Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba today to reaffirm support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of what the Foreign Office called ‘malign behaviour from Russia’.

The Foreign Secretary will announce £5 million in humanitarian aid to support communities in eastern Ukraine who have been affected by conflict and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The aid will go towards the provision of food, water, medical supplies and psychosocial support for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, the Foreign Office said.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and his wife, Olena, are on a two-day visit to the UK. The president will also sign the Political, Free Trade and Strategic Partnership Agreement with Boris Johnson

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and his wife, Olena, are on a two-day visit to the UK. The president will also sign the Political, Free Trade and Strategic Partnership Agreement with Boris Johnson

Mr Raab said: ‘Ukraine’s stability is vital for Europe’s security. Providing £5 million in humanitarian aid and signing the Political, Free Trade and Strategic Partnership Agreement is a clear demonstration of the UK’s commitment to Ukraine’s prosperity and security.’

Comedian-turned-politician Zelensky came to power last April promising to ‘break the system’ that had ruled Ukraine since independence in 1991.

Among his campaign promises were ending the conflict in the east, fighting corruption and reforming Ukraine’s economy which is reliant on foreign aid.

The comedian-turned-politician who charmed the Cambridges 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge smiled broadly as they spoke to Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his wife today, which is perhaps of no surprise given their VIP guest was once a comedian

Zelenskyy’s only political role before he was elected in April last year was playing the president on television.

But he trounced incumbent Petro Poroshenko by taking 73 percent of the vote. 

Among his campaign promises were ending the conflict in the east, fighting corruption and reforming Ukraine’s economy which is reliant on foreign aid.

It was an extraordinary outcome to a campaign that started as a joke but struck a chord with voters frustrated by poverty, corruption and a five-year war that has claimed some 13,000 lives.

The star of TV series ‘Servant of the People’ is now at the helm of a country of 45 million people beset by challenges and having run on the vaguest of political platforms. 

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk