It is at times like these that we look to our own leaders to express how we feel and respond accordingly. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has seized the opportunity enough that many are forgetting – for now at least – the lockdown parties that led to calls for his resignation.
Other members of his family intervened in his absence, as is the case these days.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said in a tweet over the weekend that they “stand with the President and all the people of Ukraine as they bravely fight for this future”.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky responded on Twitter, saying he and his wife Olena were grateful to the couple “that at this crucial time, when Ukraine is courageously opposing the invasion of Russia, they support our country and support our brave citizens”.
From California, the day Russia launched its invasion, Prince Harry and Meghan expressed their solidarity with the people of Ukraine “against this violation of international and humanitarian law” and urged “the world community and its leaders to do same”.
On Tuesday, Prince Charles went further, speaking of “democracy” and “an open society” under attack in Ukraine “in the most unconscionable way”. He continued, “We stand in solidarity with all who resist the brutal aggression.”
If the UK ever tried to rebuild bridges with Putin, those comments would weigh on Charles. This is why, as a general rule, members of the royal family do not pass judgment on foreign heads of state. They are there for life, unlike passing politicians. Putin, however, crossed the line on this one for Charles, as he has for most of the western world.
But it was perhaps his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, who best expressed the nation’s shock without words, when the couple visited a Ukrainian Catholic cathedral in London on Wednesday.
The couple traveled to the Holy Family Cathedral – which has become a rallying point for the British Ukrainian community – where they met Ukraine’s Ambassador to the UK, Vadym Prystaiko, and his wife, Inna Prystaiko, as well as Bishop Kenneth. Nowakowski.
Upon arrival, the royals met children from an associated Ukrainian school and received a traditional offering of bread and salt. The couple also lit a candle and placed sunflowers, Ukraine’s national flower, on the altar.
Addressing members of the Ukrainian community working to support relief efforts, Charles praised the group for their courage in the face of wanton aggression. He said: “My wife and I were deeply moved by all we heard today during our visit and, above all, by the extraordinary bravery, generosity and courage of the Ukrainian community in the face of such aggression. terrible. So, if I may say so, our thoughts and prayers, inadequate as they are, are with you all at this most critical time.”
During the visit, a camera captured tears in Camilla’s eyes and a Royal Rota reporter covering the event reported that the Duchess ‘cried frequently during the engagement and comforted the ambassador’s wife, who was also crying’ .
NEWS OF THE WEEK
The Queen appears to be on the mend after contracting coronavirus nearly two weeks ago, undertaking a number of video calls this week.
On Thursday, she held two virtual audiences from Windsor with new ambassadors from Trinidad and Tobago and Malawi. Earlier this week, she also hosted incoming envoys to the UK from Andorra and Chad in video meetings.
The palace was hesitant to give a daily health update, but it’s clear the monarch is feeling well enough to return to virtual engagements. It is understood that she will pursue other duties and has private engagements in her diary.
One event that was taken off the books was a diplomatic reception that was due to take place at Windsor Castle on Wednesday. Buckingham Palace said over the weekend that the Queen had “accepted the advice of the Foreign Secretary” to postpone the event. Rather than being linked to his health, it is likely that British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss made the suggestion in light of the current crisis facing Ukraine.
The next major events the Queen hopes to attend are the annual Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on March 14 and a service of thanksgiving for her late husband Prince Philip at the same venue on March 29.
WHAT ELSE HAPPENS?
Charles celebrates the success of black Britons.
The Prince of Wales brought together some of Britain’s most influential black Britons when he hosted a reception for Powerlist supporters at Clarence House on Tuesday. The Powerlist is an annual celebration of 100 of the most influential people of African, Afro-Caribbean, and African-American heritage. “These communities have made and continue to make an incredibly positive difference to society as a whole and in doing so have built a true sense of community and cohesion,” Charles said. The heir to the throne added that it was “particularly pleasing to see the diversity of talent” recognized by the initiative, from arts to business, environment and technology, among other sectors. Charles said the Powerlist – now in its 16th year – has helped identify “expertise and leadership” that will help the UK meet the challenges it continues to face in society.
William and Kate celebrate St David’s Day in Wales.
The Cambridges took a trip to Wales to celebrate St David’s Day, where they were greeted by a crowd of well-wishers. The trip focused on the importance of the agricultural industry, with their engagements centering on how community groups support young people, while celebrating the region’s history. In Abergavenny, they stopped at a goat farm that has been supplying milk to local cheese makers for almost two decades. Meanwhile, in Blaenavon, the couple rolled up their sleeves in the kitchen of a local youth centre, where they baked Welsh cakes before playing pool.
DID YOU KNOW?
Meghan praises historic Supreme Court nomination.
DO NOT MISS
Diana’s new portrait is on display.
An exhibition opening Friday at Kensington Palace in London will feature a portrait of Princess Diana that has never been seen by the public. Taken by fashion photographer David Bailey in 1988, the image was originally commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery but has remained in Bailey’s archive until now. The black and white image shows an elegant 27-year-old Diana staring into the distance, wearing an off-the-shoulder satin dress and a pair of teardrop earrings.
Along with the portrait of Diana, the exhibition, titled “A Life Through a Royal Lens”, will feature a series of works exploring the relationship between photography and the monarchy.
It includes photos taken during royal visits and portraits of heads of state, as well as moments of rest away from the public eye. Also shown for the first time is a selection of images taken by the royals themselves.
Nearly 1,000 images were submitted by people around the world keen to share their encounters with the royal family, with photographs ranging from royal walks in the 1950s to the traditional Christmas Day service at Sandringham, the private residence of the Queen in Norfolk.
IN THE ROYAL JOURNAL
The Duchess of Cornwall has a busy week ahead of her, with two major engagements on her calendar.
Tuesday, March 8: In her role as Chair of WOW – Women of the World Festival, Camilla will host a reception to mark International Women’s Day at Clarence House in London.
Thursday March 10: She will open the new Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) headquarters in Battersea, South London. The Duchess has been Deputy Patroness of the RAD since 2020.
PICTURE OF THE WEEK
Prince Charles and Camilla unveiled an eco-friendly platform train named after murdered British politician David Amess, during a visit to Southend, east London, on March 1. Amess, a veteran Conservative lawmaker, was stabbed to death in his constituency in October. .