Prince William is once again showing his support for Ukrainian refugees, making a surprise trip to Poland this week to meet with them in person.
On Thursday morning, the Prince of Wales made a sobering visit to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw where the royal held a moment of silence and quiet reflection before placing a wreath upon the monument. William was following in his late grandparents footsteps as Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip laid a wreath at the same site in 1996. William walked through an avenue of guards to deliver the wreath upon which he’d written, “In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice” and was decorated with the three white Prince of Wales feathers constructed out of white roses. He was also joined at the ceremony by various member of three divisions of the Polish Armed Forces. Afterward, he signed the visitors’ book simply “William” bellow a pre-written message in Polish that read, “To commemorate those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”
From there, William met with Polish President Andrzej Duda. Following the meeting, a spokesperson for the Prince of Wales told reporters that “the conversation was warm and friendly and predominately focused on the ongoing conflict with the war in Ukraine, particularly its impact on Polish society.” They added, “The Prince of Wales took the opportunity to thank the President and the Polish people who have done so much to support the people of Ukraine who’ve fled here. They discussed the importance of the need for ongoing support to Ukraine and its people. The Prince said he was very much looking forward to seeing the President and first lady at the coronation. He also thanked him for attending the late Queen’s funeral.” The Prince of Wales also described their conversation as a chance to “reiterate the profound relationship shared by our two nations and underline my continued support and gratitude to the Polish people.”
William has been taking on more and more royal duties, even prior to his grandmother’s death, in preparation for his future ascension to the throne. And his spokesperson noted that this trip to Poland “is a continuation of the evolution of his role as a global statesperson. We talk often about him using his global platform for the good of the environment, via Earthshot. But this is the first opportunity for him to take a visit of this kind as Prince of Wales and, given that it is one of the biggest political issues facing every country on the planet, this is a demonstration of him growing as a statesmanlike figure.”
Following his meeting with Duda, William stopped by a food hall in downtown Warsaw to grab some lunch where he was met by well-wishers, as well as a group of young people who had recently arrived in Poland after fleeing the conflict in Ukraine and have been able to successfully find employment and continue their education. “He wanted to have the opportunity to highlight that the humanitarian crisis was really important to him and show, publicly, his thanks to the Polish people for their humanity and hospitality not just over the last 12 months but now and into the future,” his spokesperson explained.
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