William and Kate spoke to volunteers, were shown the piles of donations and were told how aid efforts are being organised (Picture: Daily Mirror/PA)
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have revealed their eldest children have been asking them about the conflict in Ukraine.
William and Kate made the comments during a visit to the Ukrainian Cultural Centre in London, where they met volunteers and learnt how efforts to help Ukrainians are being organised.
The couple pledged their support for Ukraine as they heard personal accounts of the conflict and expressed their shock at seeing war on European soil.
William, 39, said Britons were more used to seeing conflict in Africa and Asia.
‘It’s very alien to see this in Europe. We are all behind you,’ he said.
But he added that he, like many, wanted to do more to help.
‘We feel so useless,’ he said.
William and Kate, 40, did not attend the centre empty-handed and took homemade brownies and granola bars with them from Kensington Palace to give to volunteers.
Both wore pin badges displaying the Ukrainian flag and Kate also wore a jumper matching the blue of the nation’s flag.
They offered assistance from their charitable foundation for children and young people suffering mental health problems and trauma from the war.
They also said their eldest children, Prince George, aged eight, and six-year-old Princess Charlotte, had been asking them about the unfolding tragedy.
‘Ours have been coming home asking all about it,’ William said.
‘They are obviously talking about it with their friends at school.’
The Duke and Duchess saw the large number of donations being amassed at the centre (Picture: AFP)
He suggested he had found it difficult discussing some of it with his children, adding he had to ‘choose my words carefully to explain what is going on’.
The royal couple spent an hour chatting to volunteers who are working daily at the centre to send aid to a hub in western Ukraine and on to people on the front line.
The couple were shown around by the Ukrainian ambassador Vadym Prystaiko, his wife Inna Prystaiko, and Inna Hryhorovych, who set up the relief operation.
William and Kate spoke to them and the other volunteers about the crisis and listened to their fears that Russian president Vladimir Putin will unleash a third world war unless he can be stopped in Ukraine.
‘The irony is it brings Europe closer together,’ William said.
‘Europe is closer together than it’s ever been before because of Ukraine.’
Homemade brownies and granola bars the Cambridges gave to volunteers at the centre (Picture: AP)
He praised the people of Ukraine for their spirit and the volunteers for their commitment.
‘We have seen a lot of that Ukrainian spirit already,’ William told them.
‘Keep together. Everyone is there for you. We feel for you, we really do.’
He and Kate gladly posed for photos with the volunteers, saying it was the least they could do.
The couple had been supposed to help with the packing of aid and donations but in the crowded chaos it did not happen.
The duchess suggested returning to the centre to help out: ‘I think we need to come and help out here’, she said.
‘Give you some respite.’
Kate wore a blue jumper in the same shade as the blue of the Ukrainian flag (Picture: PA)
The Cambridges and other members of the Royal family, including the Queen, have donated to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal.
While at the centre they spoke to DEC chief exec Saleh Saeed, who has overseen efforts that have raised more than £120 million in the UK.
Since Mr Putin invaded Ukraine on February 24, at least two million people are thought to have fled their homes to escape the conflict.
Many of those who have fled Ukraine are women and children.
Around four million are expected to be displaced as the war continues.
In the days following the invasion, the Cambridges sent a message of solidarity to Ukrainians.
They tweeted: ‘We stand with the President and all of Ukraine’s people as they bravely fight for that future’.
The tweet was accompanied by a picture of the couple meeting Ukraine’s leader in October 2020.
The message was seen as significant as protocol usually means senior royals remain politically neutral.
It came a day after Prince Harry and Meghan, who have quit as senior working royals, also said they stand with Ukraine.
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