Kate Middleton and Prince William welcome Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Buckingham Palace

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge today greeted the President and First Lady of Ukraine at Buckingham Palace during their first hearing since the lockdown began.

Kate Middleton, 38, looked elegant in a belted cornflower blue dress as she joined Prince William, 38, for the reunion with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his wife Olena in the opulent Throne Room.

The couples did not wear masks but observed social distancing and appeared in good spirits during the meeting, the first royal event to take place at Buckingham Palace since March.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge held the hearing on behalf of the Queen, 94, who is staying at Windsor Castle and making a limited number of engagements.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge greeted the President and the First Lady of Ukraine at Buckingham Palace during their first hearing since the lockdown. The Cambridges did not shake hands but stood up to greet Ukrainian visitors, pictured

The Duchess of Cambridge looked elegant in a cornflower blue belted dress, thought to be by designer Emilia Wickstead

The Duchess of Cambridge looked elegant in a cornflower blue belted dress, thought to be by designer Emilia Wickstead

The couples did not wear masks but observed social distancing and appeared in good spirits during the meeting, the first royal event to take place at Buckingham Palace since March. The Duke and Duchess shared this photo from the reunion

The couples did not wear masks but observed social distancing and appeared in good spirits during the meeting, the first royal event to take place at Buckingham Palace since March. The Duke and Duchess shared this photo from the reunion

William and Kate have been on a number of engagements since the easing of lockdown restrictions – including a visit by Kate Middleton to Derby University yesterday – but this is their first hearing with a world leader in seven months.

The Cambridges did not shake hands with their guests, as would have been customary before the lockdown, but stood up to greet Ukrainian visitors.

During the brief reunion, the couples kept themselves socially estranged before moving to two separate ornate sofas to continue their conversation.

Kate, who was dressed in a cornflower blue belted dress, and William, in a suit and tie, were seen smiling broadly as they spoke to their guests.

Comedian turned politician, Zelenskyy traveled to London with a ministerial delegation for 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 lively as he spoke to the Ukrainian President and First Lady in the throne room. The couple held the hearing on behalf of the Queen who is staying at Windsor Castle and making a limited number of engagements

The Duke of Cambridge looked lively as he spoke to the Ukrainian President and First Lady in the throne room. The couple held the hearing on behalf of the Queen who is staying at Windsor Castle and making a limited number of engagements

During the brief reunion, the couples stood socially distanced in the throne room (pictured) before moving to two separate ornate sofas to continue their conversation They didn't shake hands like they would have before the lockdown

During the brief reunion, the couples kept themselves socially distanced in the throne room (pictured) before moving to two separate ornate sofas to continue their conversation They didn’t shake hands like they would have before the lockdown

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his wife, Olena. The couple moved to the sofas (pictured) during the brief hearing

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his wife, Olena. The couple moved to the sofas (pictured) during the brief hearing

Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said the deal was a “clear demonstration” of the UK’s commitment to Ukraine’s prosperity and security.

Raab will meet with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba today to reaffirm his support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of what the Foreign Ministry has called “malicious behavior on the part of Ukraine. of Russia ”.

The Foreign Minister will announce £ 5million in humanitarian aid to support communities in eastern Ukraine that have been affected by the conflict and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The aid will be used to provide food, water, medical supplies and psychosocial support to survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, the foreign ministry 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 for the security of Europe. Providing £ 5million in humanitarian aid and signing the Political, Free Trade and Strategic Partnership Agreement is a clear demonstration of the UK’s commitment to the prosperity and security of Ukraine ” .

Comedian-turned-politician Zelensky came to power last April promising to “break the system” that had ruled Ukraine since independence in 1991.

Among his campaign promises were an end to the conflict in the East, the fight against corruption and the reform of the Ukrainian economy which depends on foreign aid.

The comedian turned politician who charmed the Cambridges

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge smiled broadly as they spoke to Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his wife today, which is perhaps not surprising considering their VIP guest was once a comedian.

Zelenskyy’s only political role before his election in April last year was to play the role of president on television.

But he beat incumbent Petro Poroshenko by collecting 73% of the vote.

Among his campaign promises were an end to the conflict in the East, the fight against corruption and the reform of the Ukrainian economy which depends on foreign aid.

It was an extraordinary result for a campaign that began as a joke but touched the sensitive chord of voters frustrated by poverty, corruption and a five-year war that cost the lives of some 13,000 people.

His unorthodox campaign relied heavily on eccentric social media posts and comedy concerts instead of traditional rallies and flyers. He ran his campaign primarily on Instagram, where he has 9.5 million subscribers.

The star of the television series “Servant of the People” now heads a country of 45 million people in the grip of challenges and having run on the vaguest of political platforms.

It has been forced to deal with a number of major crises and incidents in recent months, most notably the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ukraine recorded a record 4,753 cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, the National Security Council said on Wednesday, against a previous record of 4,661 new cases reported on October 3.

The council said a total of 239,337 cases had been recorded in Ukraine as of October 7, with 4,597 deaths, including 77 in the past 24 hours.

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