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 Cambridges shared a photo of the meeting on Twitter shortly afterwards
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.
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.
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.
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.’
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