Politics

Prince Charles left moved by plight of ‘brave’ Ukrainians



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he Prince of Wales has paid tribute to the ‘extraordinary bravery and fortitude’ of the Ukrainian people in the face of ‘such truly terrible aggression’.

On a visit to the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in central London the future king accepted home-made cards from children – including one which read ‘Stop Putin’ – and told distraught members of its congregation that he could not believe what he was seeing ‘in this day and age’.

Accompanied by his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, and representatives from five charities of which he is patron, who he has brought together to help co-ordinate the relief efforts of UK-based Ukrainians, he spent more than an hour comforting those in need.

Charles and Camilla received a traditional Ukrainian offering of bread and salt when they first arrived at the cathedral (Toby Melville/PA) / PA Wire

Camilla frequently wept as she spoke to representatives from the ex-pat community, who are desperately worried about family and friends back home, and hugged the sobbing wife of the Ukrainian ambassador telling her: ‘We are praying for you. ‘

Charles told reporters: ‘What does one say?’

The prince asked to visit the cathedral when discussing the crisis with his advisors with the weekend.

A source said: ‘He has been deeply moved and just wanted to do something to help. He wanted to listen to people to find out what they need and how he can help facilitate that.’

The Prince of Wales speaks with bishop Kenneth Nowakowski during a visit to the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in London (Toby Melville/PA) / PA Wire

He and the duchess were met at the Cathedral of the Holy Family by Bishop Kenneth Nowakowski and Ambassador Vadym Prystaiko and his wife, Inna.

A member of the congregation greeted them saying: ‘Vee tie mo’ – welcome – and offered them bread and salt, often given to dignitaries.

Bread is a symbol of what gives us life and salt what sustains life.

In a back room representatives of the Ukrainian community in the UK had gathered and Sunday school children sang a beautiful traditional song about their passion for the country and what it means to fight for Ukraine. Camilla could not hide her tears.

Afterwards they moved around the room separately talking to as many people as possible.

Charles brought representatives from five humanitarian organisations he is connected with to the event with Ukraine’s UK community. Jamie Lorriman/The Daily Telegraph / PA Wire

Sunday school teacher Lesya Klovak spoke to the prince at length and said he openly expressed his horror at the Russian invasion.



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