KING Charles today held a “truly special” audience with Volodymyr Zelensky at Buckingham Palace.
It is the first time the monarch has met the Ukrainian president, who is on his first visit to the UK since Russia’s invasion.
5King Charles holds an audience with Volodymyr ZelenskyCredit: PA5The Ukrainian President is greeted by Lieutenant Colonel Johnny ThompsonCredit: PAZelensky, wearing his trademark khaki green military fatigues, was driven through the front gates of the royal residence and into the quadrangle.
He was greeted at the King’s Door by the King’s equerry, Lieutenant Colonel Jonny Thompson.
Dressed in military uniform with kilt, Lt Col Thompson shook hands with Zelensky before introducing him to Sir Clive Alderton, principal private secretary to the King and Queen Consort, who welcomed inside the Palace.
Charles and the former comedian and actor smiled at one another during the historic summit in the Palace’s 1844 Room.
The meeting was scheduled to last 45 minutes.
Zelensky earlier used a speech in Westminster Hall to praise the King’s support for Ukraine, referring to the monarch’s own air force training to tell parliamentarians that in his country every pilot is a “king”.
In his address, he said he looked forward to his meeting with the King and said he expected it to be an “honour”.
“It will be a truly special moment for me, for our country, and in particular because I will convey to him from all the Ukrainians the words of gratitude for the support His Majesty showed to them when he was still the Prince of Wales,” Zelensky said.
The Ukrainian leader showed his knowledge of the King’s own RAF flying experience as he told the assembled audience in Parliament that he wanted to tell the monarch something “very, very, very important”.
“In Britain, the king is an air force pilot and in Ukraine today, every air force pilot is a king,” he said to applause.
The comments came after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced plans to train Ukrainian pilots, paving the way for them to potentially being able to fly sophisticated Nato-standard jets in the future.
Zelensky called for a coalition of nations to supply planes to help his country crush Vladimir Putin.
He said: “I appeal to you and the world with simple and yet most important words: combat aircraft for Ukraine, wings for freedom.”
So far Britain, the US and Germany have refused to send to aircrafts to Ukraine over fears of provoking the Russian leader.
But in a powerful plea to hundreds of MPs and peers, Zelensky implored Mr Sunak to think again.
“Great Britain, you and us both struggle for peace,” he said.
“Unfortunately, it is in human nature to allow evil. We must make sure it doesn’t stand up against humanity. It destroys and kills and breaks people’s lives.”
Invoking memories of the second world war, the president added: “You and us have already fought together against such evil.
“You and us already have experience of defeating the evil that is generated by human nature.
“It is impossible to completely erase evil from human nature. Yet it is in our power to guarantee with words and deeds that the light side of human nature will prevail.
“You and us share this stance above anything else.”
Zelensky is expected to travel to Paris to meet French leader Emmanuel Macron tonight.
The European trip is his first since Russian invaded his country almost a year ago on February 24, 2022.
5Zelensky meets Sir Clive Alderton, Principal Private Secretary to the KingCredit: PA5The pair smiled as they met for the first time at Buckingham PalaceCredit: PA5Zelensky with Labour leader Keir Starmer at Speaker’s House in the Palace of WestminsterCredit: AP
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk