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Princess Sophie met with the Zelensky in Kyiv and saw the ruins of Irpin: she is the first royal to visit Ukraine since 2022

Duchess Sophie came to Ukraine

Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, who was often called a favorite of her late mother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth II, came to Ukraine. The trip was part of an initiative to protect survivors of sexual violence.

She became the first British royal to cross the Ukrainian border since Russian occupation forces invaded Ukrainian cities in 2022, Sky News reports. The visit demonstrates the Windsors' solidarity with the women, men, and children affected by the war.

Where did Princess Sophie visit?

The wife of the Duke of Edinburgh did not limit herself to a tour of Kyiv. She visited the notorious bridge near Irpin, where the city's residents hid from rockets and shells and which has turned into ruins.

Princess Sophie met with the Zelensky in Kyiv and saw the ruins of Irpin: she is the first royal to visit Ukraine since 2022

In the same city, the Duchess visited the Family Center, talked to the children, and saw with her own eyes the cemetery of cars that saved the lives of Ukrainians and were shot or burned by the Russians.

Princess Sophie met with the Zelensky in Kyiv and saw the ruins of Irpin: she is the first royal to visit Ukraine since 2022

Sophie also honored the memory of the victims of Russian terrorists in the town of Bucha. There she was told about the victims whose lives were cut short too soon and unjustly.

Princess Sophie met with the Zelensky in Kyiv and saw the ruins of Irpin: she is the first royal to visit Ukraine since 2022
Princess Sophie met with the Zelensky in Kyiv and saw the ruins of Irpin: she is the first royal to visit Ukraine since 2022
Princess Sophie met with the Zelensky in Kyiv and saw the ruins of Irpin: she is the first royal to visit Ukraine since 2022

In St. Andrew's Church, the Duchess prayed and lit a candle.

Princess Sophie met with the Zelensky in Kyiv and saw the ruins of Irpin: she is the first royal to visit Ukraine since 2022

Meeting with the presidential couple

In addition to priests, children, and adult Ukrainians in the Kyiv region, the princess met with the presidential couple. First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska accompanied the guest during a visit to the majestic St. Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv.

Princess Sophie met with the Zelensky in Kyiv and saw the ruins of Irpin: she is the first royal to visit Ukraine since 2022

There, the British woman signed the guest book, listened to the historical exhibits inside, and admired the frescoes and icons. Later, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy welcomed the Duchess to Ukraine.

Princess Sophie met with the Zelensky in Kyiv and saw the ruins of Irpin: she is the first royal to visit Ukraine since 2022
Princess Sophie met with the Zelensky in Kyiv and saw the ruins of Irpin: she is the first royal to visit Ukraine since 2022

She reportedly gave Zelensky a personal message from King Charles III, who is currently undergoing cancer treatment and hardly performs any public royal duties.

Princess Sophie met with the Zelensky in Kyiv and saw the ruins of Irpin: she is the first royal to visit Ukraine since 2022
Princess Sophie met with the Zelensky in Kyiv and saw the ruins of Irpin: she is the first royal to visit Ukraine since 2022

What Princess Sophie had to say

Not only did the British woman show courage by becoming the first royal to visit Ukraine during a full-scale war, but she also did not skimp on important words. Sophie, 59, condemned the use of sexual violence to "humiliate, insult and destroy" women and said she was grateful for the "honesty" and "openness" of Ukrainian women.

Princess Sophie met with the Zelensky in Kyiv and saw the ruins of Irpin: she is the first royal to visit Ukraine since 2022

According to the Duchess, "she will take these stories home to her heart." After talking to women who were forced to leave their homes, survived violence and joined the volunteer work, Princess Sophie was impressed.

Princess Sophie met with the Zelensky in Kyiv and saw the ruins of Irpin: she is the first royal to visit Ukraine since 2022

"Rape is used to humiliate and destroy. And we must do a better job of preventing it. If we cannot prevent it, we must take steps to support those who are victims of such crimes," the Duchess said at the British Embassy.

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