Kate hosts Ukraine’s first lady at Buckingham Palace

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The Princess of Wales has met the first lady of Ukraine ahead of the Queen’s funeral.

Kate held an audience with Olena Zelenska at Buckingham Palace.

Downing Street had previously declined to confirm reports that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s wife would travel to the UK for the funeral.

She was pictured meeting Kate at the Palace on Sunday afternoon.

They sat either side of a fireplace on gingham armchairs with purple orchids on display in the background.

The First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska viewed the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, lying in state on the catafalque in Westminster Hall, at the Palace of Westminster, London, ahead of her funeral on Monday (PA)
Olena Zelenska views the coffin at Westminster Hall (Jacob King/PA)

Ms Zelenska earlier visited Westminster Hall to see the Queen lying in state.

She made the journey to the UK after her husband took time out from organising his country’s fightback against Russia to sign a book of condolence for the Queen.

The UK’s ambassador in Kyiv, Melinda Simmons, said she was “deeply honoured” by the president’s gesture.

“Grateful to the president for taking the time to do this given all else that is happening in (Ukraine) at this time,” she said.

The princess’s meeting with Ms Zelenska follows Liz Truss’s earlier audience with the King in the Palace’s 1844 Room.

The Prime Minister has also continued informal talks with world leaders as hundreds of dignitaries descend on London for Monday’s funeral.