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Kate Middleton and Prince William greet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at Buckingham Palace


Back to business! Kate Middleton is smart in a blue belted dress as she joins Prince William to welcome the Ukrainian President and First Lady into their first audience since their lockdown at Buckingham Palace

  • The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
  • Kate Middleton and Prince Williams first audience at the palace since the lockdown
  • Mr. Zelenskyy traveled to London with a ministerial delegation
  • The Duchess looked typically elegant for the meeting in a blue belted dress

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcomed the President and First Lady of Ukraine today at Buckingham Palace in their first audience since the lockdown began.

Kate Middleton, 38, looked elegant in a cornflower blue belted dress as she joined Prince William, 38, to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his wife Olena in the opulent throne room.

The couples did not wear masks but observed social distancing and were in good spirits during the meeting, the first royal event to be held 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 performing a limited number of engagements.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have welcomed the President and First Lady of Ukraine in their first audience since the lockdown began at Buckingham Palace. The Cambridges did not shake hands with their guests, but stood up to greet the Ukrainian visitors pictured

The couples did not wear masks but observed social distancing and were in good spirits during the meeting, the first royal event to be held at Buckingham Palace since March

The couples did not wear masks but observed social distancing and were in good spirits during the meeting, the first royal event to be held at Buckingham Palace since March

Kate looked elegant in a cornflower blue belted dress, believed to have been made by Emilia Wickstead

Kate looked elegant in a cornflower blue belted dress, believed to have been made by Emilia Wickstead

The Cambridges shared a photo of the meeting on Twitter shortly afterwards

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 lockdown restrictions were relaxed – including a visit from 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 they would have done before the lockdown, but stood up to greet the Ukrainian visitors.

During the brief meeting, the couples stood socially distant before moving to two separate ornate sofas to continue their conversation.

Kate, in a cornflower blue belted dress, and William in a suit and tie, saw big smiles as they spoke to their guests.

The comedian Zelenskyy, who has become a politician, traveled 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.

The Duke of Cambridge looked animated as he spoke to his guests in the throne room

The Duke of Cambridge looked animated as he spoke to his guests in the throne room

During the brief meeting, the couples stood socially distant in the throne room (pictured) before moving to two separate ornate sofas to continue their conversation

During the brief meeting, the couples stood socially distant in the throne room (pictured) before moving to two separate ornate sofas to continue their conversation

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet with the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and his wife Olena. The couple went to the couches during the brief audience (pictured)

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet with the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and his wife Olena. The couple went to the couches during the brief audience (pictured)

Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said the deal was a "clear demonstration" of Britain's commitment to Ukraine's prosperity and security.

Mr Raab will meet with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba today to reaffirm support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of what the Foreign Office calls "Russia's malevolent behavior".

The Foreign Secretary will announce £ 5 million in humanitarian aid to help communities in eastern Ukraine affected by conflict and the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The aid will be used to provide food, water, medical care and psychosocial support for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, the Federal Foreign Office said.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his wife Olena are on a two-day visit to the UK. The President will also sign the Political, Free Trade and Strategic Partnership Agreement with Boris Johnson

Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his wife Olena are on a two-day visit to the UK. The President will also sign the Political, Free Trade and Strategic Partnership Agreement with Boris Johnson

Mr. Raab said: “The stability of Ukraine is vital to the security of Europe. The delivery of £ 5 million in humanitarian aid and the signing of the Political, Free Trade and Strategic Partnership Agreement is clear evidence of Britain's commitment to the prosperity and security of Ukraine. "

Politician-turned comedian Zelensky came to power last April and pledged to break the system that had ruled Ukraine since independence in 1991.

His election promises included ending the Eastern conflict, fighting corruption and reforming the Ukrainian economy, which is dependent on foreign aid.

The comedian turned politician who charmed the Cambridges

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge smiled widely as they spoke to Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his wife today, which may not come as a surprise given that their VIP guest was once a comedian

Zelenskyy's only political role prior to his election last April was to play president on television.

But he defeated the incumbent Petro Poroshenko with 73 percent of the vote.

His election promises included ending the Eastern conflict, fighting corruption and reforming the Ukrainian economy, which is dependent on foreign aid.

It was an extraordinary result of a campaign that started as a hoax but resonated with voters frustrated by poverty, corruption and a five-year war that killed around 13,000 people.

His unorthodox campaign relied heavily on quirky social media posts and comedy appearances rather than traditional rallies and leaflets. He runs his campaign mainly on Instagram, where he has 9.5 million followers.

The star of the television series "Servant of the People" is now at the helm of a country of 45 million, hit by challenges and run on the vague political platforms.

In the past few months, he has had to deal with a number of serious crises and incidents, including the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ukraine has registered a record 4,753 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, the National Security Council said on Wednesday, after 4,661 new cases were previously reported on October 3.

According to the Council, a total of 239,337 cases were recorded in Ukraine on October 7, with 4,597 people killing, of which 77 were in the last 24 hours.

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