The Duke and Duchess visited the Ukrainian Cultural Centre in London today.
NOTE: This post includes photos and some video of refugees; a heads-up for anyone for whom this may be a trigger.
They were there to learn about “the extraordinary efforts being made to support Ukrainians in the UK and across Europe,” per a Kensington Palace news release.
The center is located in Holland Park in west London. The couple was shown around the center by Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK, Vadym Prystaiko (right), and his wife, Inna Prystaiko (2nd from right).
They met members of the local Ukrainian community and volunteers.
The Duke and Duchess heard about services offered at the center and the challenges they continue to face. More from Richard Palmer’s story in The Express.
The royal couple spent an hour chatting to some of the 30 or 40 volunteers working daily at the centre, a social club, to send aid to a hub in western Ukraine and on to people on the front line.
In the club, packed with boxes of first aid, over-the-counter medicines, food for babies and adults, and military coats and socks, they spoke to volunteers taking calls from people all over Britain offering assistance.
Mr. Palmer noted in his Express article that the Cultural Centre volunteers are sending “two lorry loads of aid each day to their fellow countrymen fighting a Russian invasion and a humanitarian catastrophe.”
A video from The Daily Mail’s Rebecca English.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have visited the Ukrainian Cultural Centre in London to learn about the extraordinary efforts being made to support Ukrainians in the UK and across Europe #Ukraine️ #royal pic.twitter.com/1NlH0hVRyO
— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) March 9, 2022
You may have noticed the bag the Duchess carried as the couple arrived at the center. It contained goodies for the volunteers, homemade brownies, and granola bars from Kensington Palace.
More about today’s visit from Robert Jobson’s Evening Standard story.
Kate and William saw the piles of generous donations being collected at the centre amid Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine.
Already they have pledged a generous donation to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal.
The couple heard about the services offered at the centre, the incredible amount of donations they have received following Russia’s invasion of the country and the challenges they continue to face to get material aid where it’s most needed.
They also heard how there had been specific requests for medicines for hospitals in Ukraine, as they were shown the large amount of pharmaceutical goods amassed in the centre.
Prince William spoke about Princess Charlotte and Prince George reacting to the war.
A video from ITV’s Chris Ship.
Prince William told volunteers packing donations for #Ukraine – that Prince George & Princess Charlotte have been asking about the invasion.
They “have been coming home asking” about it he said. “They’re obviously talking about it amongst their friends” 🇺🇦pic.twitter.com/zikD6Vq54f
— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) March 9, 2022
The Duke and Duchess also met Saleh Saeed, OBE, today. He is the CEO of the Disasters Emergency Committee, an entity that brings together “15 UK aid charities to raise funds quickly and efficiently. In these times of crisis, people in life-and-death situations need our help and our mission is to save, protect and rebuild lives through effective humanitarian response.”
Those charities include Action Against Hunger, ActionAid UK, Age International, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International UK, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide UK, International Rescue Committee UK, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Oxfam GB, Plan International UK, Save the Children UK, Tearfund, and World Vision UK. (NOTE: In most cases, these links go to UK-specific sites, but many of the organizations have operations in other countries. If you want to look for your specific country, I would search using the name of your country and the charity’s name.)
Here is a look at what some specific donations can accomplish:
£30 could provide essential hygiene supplies for three people for one month
£50 could provide blankets for four families
£100 could provide emergency food for two families for one month
Below, sleeping bags donated for refugees.
Another image shows donated medical supplies.
Supplying food, water, shelter, clothing, medicine, and other items is an enormous challenge as the flow of refugees, now numbering more than 2,000,000, continues to flee the horrific situation in Ukraine. Below, refugees arrive at Berlin’s Hauptbahnhof railway station last night.
A woman holding her granddaughter at the Polish-Ukrainian border crossing in Medyka, eastern Poland, today.
The logistical challenges are staggering. Below, a temporary refugee shelter in an abandoned TESCO supermarket is filled with refugees transported from the Polish-Ukrainian border in Przemysl, Poland.
At the border crossing in Isaccea, Romania, on March 7 as people exit a ferry.
People arriving today at the Vyšné Nemecké border crossing in Slovakia, where more than 90,000 people have crossed.
Here you see volunteers helping refugees today in another photo from Vyšné Nemecké.
The scene yesterday at the Zahony border train station in Hungary.
The Disasters Emergency Committee has raised more than £132 million for its member charities working on the ground (those listed above). The Kensington Palace news release noted, “With the effects of this conflict to be felt for weeks and months to come, this funding will support Ukrainians across Europe whose lives have been changed irrevocably right now and in the difficult weeks ahead.” Below, is a group photo as today’s engagement wrapped up.
After the engagement, the Kensington Palace social media accounts shared photos and information from today’s visit.
Click here for the full thread of tweets on today’s engagement on the Kensington Palace account. Below, another photo from today’s engagement.
Last week the Duke and Duchess posted their support online, referencing their 2020 meeting with President Zelenskyy and the First Lady of Ukraine.
President Zelenskyy responded with thanks to the social media posts.
Below, a photo from that October 2020 meeting.
Here is a quick video from Kensington Palace covering today’s engagement.
Over the past two weeks, communities and organisations here in the UK have come together to provide vital support to Ukrainians here in Britain and across Europe. (1/4) pic.twitter.com/Smpt48X5og
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) March 9, 2022
And now for our look at what Kate wore for today’s engagement.
The piece is designed with a close fit. It is 100% cashmere with ribbing at the waist and cuffs and slightly thicker ribbing at the neckline.
The style is available at Net-a-Porter ($740), at Neiman Marcus, as well as Nordstrom, and also Bergdorf Goodman. UPDATE MARCH 10: This looks like the sweater worn by the Duchess in the February 4 video teasing her trip to Denmark.
Looking forward to learning from experts, parents & practitioners about Denmark’s approach to early childhood later this month. Denmark is a beacon of best practice in its approach to the early years, with a culture which prioritises the best start in life.
På snarligt gensyn. C pic.twitter.com/4rwZjA61mj
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) February 4, 2022
The Duchess was in the Jigsaw (no longer available) trousers we have seen with some frequency.
It looked like the Duchess *may* have been wearing the Medium Twist Hoops by Spells of Love (£60, about $80 at today’s exchange rates). I don’t really feel like we had a great shot of them, so I am not 100% comfortable saying definitively it is that pair of earrings. I show them below with the Ukraine support pin worn today by both royals.
I have not been able to find the exact pin the royals wore but can share this link to etsy, where there is a broad range of “support Ukraine” buttons and pins. UPDATE MARCH 10: Here are a couple of options for pins similar to the style worn by the Duke and Duchess. On the left, a style from Bluecat ($6.99), with thanks to Jess for her comment showing this pin. In the center, a style from etsy ($5.48), with thanks to my friend Micki for linking to it on the WKW Facebook page. On the right, you see a photo of the pin worn by the Duchess yesterday.
The Royal Family Channel offers more than 3 minutes of video from today’s engagement.
One place I have donated is World Central Kitchen. Here is a video from their Ukrainian relief efforts.
Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders has a brief video on their efforts.
This video may lift your spirits: it shows people in Berlin waiting at the train station to offer lodging to refugees.
People in Berlin holding signs offering places to stay as trains w/ Ukraine refugees pull in. Hits right in the feels pic.twitter.com/AVgv70HfAT
— Clark (@clarkchambers) March 4, 2022
This next video was shot at the Polish border with Ukraine by an ITV crew.
— Romilly Weeks (@romillyweeks) March 4, 2022