Charles holds ’emotional’ meeting with Ukrainian refugees

·2-min read
The Prince of Wales, in his role as patron of World Jewish Relief, meets staff and families whose Ukrainian relatives have escaped the conflict (Ben Stansall/PA) (PA Wire)
The Prince of Wales, in his role as patron of World Jewish Relief, meets staff and families whose Ukrainian relatives have escaped the conflict (Ben Stansall/PA) (PA Wire)

The Prince of Wales has said that he hopes Britain is welcoming to Ukrainians in an “emotional” meeting with families who have fled Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

Charles, who is believed to have personally suggested meeting refugees from Ukraine, added that he was praying for the conflict to end quickly.

He made the comments on a visit to the World Jewish Relief (WJR) charity in north London, which has sent food, money and medicine to the war-torn country.

Charles, a patron of the group since 2015, has made a financial contribution to its efforts although the sum has not been made public.

The Prince of Wales is shown a map of Ukraine (Ben Stansall/PA) (PA Wire)
The Prince of Wales is shown a map of Ukraine (Ben Stansall/PA) (PA Wire)

WJR chairman Maurice Helfgott told the prince he would be writing a letter to thank him for the donation. “Don’t bother with that,” responded the prince, to laughter from the room.

After speaking to the team responsible for settling refugees in the UK, Charles met three Ukrainian women who had fled the war, all of whom have asked not to be named.

Two were from Kharkiv, in the north east of Ukraine, while the other was from Odessa in the south. Both cities have been heavily bombed by Russian forces.

“Till the day I die, I will never forget the sound of missiles,” one of the women said.

A relative of the women from Kharkiv described how she had managed to convince them to leave their home, taking their cat and a handful of family photographs, and head to Britain.

“They stayed in Poland, in one of the Jewish community centres,” she told Charles.

“Then my husband literally had to fly to Poland to help them because they don’t speak English.”

One witness said that the prince appeared to be “very emotional about the whole thing”.

The woman from Odessa called Charles a “righteous Gentile” – a term meaning a non-Jewish person.

“The Royal Family tried to save people,” she added. “Thank you.”

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