The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge hosted the President of Ukraine and his wife at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday

By Simon Perry
October 07, 2020 10:36 AM
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Prince William and Kate Middleton at Buckingham Palace
| Credit: Jonathan Brady/AP/Shutterstock

Kate Middleton and Prince William stepped in on behalf of Queen Elizabeth to undertake an important meeting at the palace on Wednesday.

William and Kate, both 38, hosted a visit of the President of the Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and his wife Olena, who arrived in the U.K. late on Tuesday.

In a simple statement, the palace said, "The President of Ukraine and Mrs. Zelenska called upon The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace."

The couple released an image of the meeting on their own social media.

The meeting marks the first time that an audience has taken place at Buckingham Palace since the Queen, 94, left in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

And it underlines once more how William and Kate are increasingly carrying out engagements for the Queen. William, especially, has been taking on high-level duties, like investitures of knights and other honorees and meeting dignitaries for several years. The royal couple also met Barack and Michelle Obama at Buckingham Palace during their State Visit in 2011.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge may have been chosen to welcome President Zelenskiy and his wife because they are similar in age and have two children.

Prince William and Kate Middleton meet Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and his wife, Olena
| Credit: Jonathan Brady/AP/Shutterstock

At 42, the president is a former actor, comedy star and writer, and while he and Olena attended the same school and are the same age, he met her properly when she was an engineering student. The couple dated for eight years – not unlike William and Kate who fell in love at college and dated for almost a decade before marrying in 2011.

Prince William and Kate Middleton meet Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and his wife, Olena
| Credit: Jonathan Brady/AP/Shutterstock

The Queen returned to Windsor Castle from her home in Norfolk on Tuesday and is expected to drive the 30 miles into London for some engagements in the coming months.

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Prince Philip, 99, has stayed at Wood Farm, located on the Queen's Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, where he has largely been living since retiring from public life three years ago.