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Royal family in first visit to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion

Sophie, the Duchess of Edinburgh, has become the first member of the Royal Family to visit Ukraine since Russia’s full-scale invasion began in February 2022.

According to Buckingham Palace, Sophie’s trip was to “demonstrate solidarity with the women, men and children impacted by the war.” Her visit was a continuation of her work to champion survivors of conflict-related sexual violence, and was at the request of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

When in Ukraine, 59 year old Sophie met the Ukrainian President and the first lady Olena Zelenska.

The full statement from the Palace read: “Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Edinburgh is visiting Ukraine at the request of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, to demonstrate solidarity with the women, men and children impacted by the war and in a continuation of her work to champion survivors of conflict-related sexual violence.”



Sophie has travelled to Ukraine
Sophie has travelled to Ukraine

During her trip, it was said that Sophie delivered a private message in a letter from the King, and also visited a cathedral with the first lady in the capital Kiev.

Elsewhere, Sophie also paid her respects to those who lost their lives in Bucha, and visited the ‘Road to Life’ bridge which became a key part of the Ukrainian resistance when it was blown up to stop Russian troops proceeding to Kyiv, and which later became a route for fleeing people. The duchess then laid flowers at a memorial that contains the names of the victims.



The Duchess of Edinburgh met with the First Lady of Ukraine
The Duchess of Edinburgh met with the First Lady of Ukraine

On International Women’s Day in 2019, Prince Edward’s wife publicly announced her steadfast commitment to champion the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda and the UK’s Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI), at a reception for Women Peacebuilders at Buckingham Palace.

At the time, she said: “As someone who firmly believes in the equality of men and women, I feel drawn to your cause and to do what I can to help raise further awareness of your work.



Sophie visited the Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv
Sophie visited the Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv

“To help give voice to women and girls who are being denied their fundamental rights as humans and are being subjected to harm and violence as a result of conflict, to promote those who seek to play a part in finding peace, and to support others as they attempt to rebuild their lives.

“Therefore I am publicly committing myself to doing what I can to champion and support WPS and PSVI and make this a central pillar of my work in the coming months and years.”

Since then, she has taken part in a number of engagements and overseas trips to highlight international efforts towards women’s roles in peacebuilding.

View news Source: https://www.ok.co.uk/royal/royal-news/breaking-duchess-of-edinburgh-russia-32695855

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