Prince Charles Makes Surprise Trip to Romania to Meet Ukrainian Refugees

One million Ukrainian citizens have entered Romania since the onset of the crisis on Feb. 24

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Prince Charles. Photo: ALEX MICSIK/AGERPRES FOTO/AFP via Getty

Prince Charles is showing the royal family's support for those fleeing the war in Ukraine.

The Prince of Wales, 73, made a surprise trip to Bucharest, Romania, on Wednesday to see firsthand the efforts being made for the refugees who've crossed the border from neighboring Ukraine. He was welcomed by Romanian President Klaus Iohannis at the Cotroceni Palace.

He then visited a refugee center that provides fresh clothing, food, baby equipment and key essentials. The prince was also taken to see dormitories that have been specially created to house more refugees as the war continues.

Charles was joined by Her Majesty Margareta, Custodian of the Crown of Romania at the Romexpo Donation Centre for Ukrainian refugees in Bucharest. Margareta, the eldest daughter of King Michael I and Queen Anne of Romania, assumed her father's duties upon his retirement in March 2016.

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During their visit, they were introduced to workers from the Red Cross and Salvation Army who have been working at the center throughout the crisis. They spoke with Ukrainians who have fled the horrors of war — more than 1,000 Ukrainians visit the center every day to receive food, supplies and access to social services and counsel during their stay in Romania. They also met with volunteers who are supporting the effort at the center.

One million Ukrainian citizens have entered Romania since the onset of the crisis on Feb. 24.

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (right) with Dr Raed Arafat, State Secretary for Emergency Situatoins and Vice President of the Red Cross, during his visit to the Ukrainian refugee centre on May 25, 2022 in Bucharest, Romania.
Prince Charles. Yui Mok - Pool/Getty

The U.K. is a leading humanitarian donor in the Ukrainian crisis and the country's support to the effort now amounts to around $500 million of Official Development Assistance, to Ukraine and neighboring countries. Prince Charles has asked several charities of which he is patron to help in the effort:

It is the latest effort he has made to highlight the plight of those fleeing the war that began with Russia's invasion in February. In early March, Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall met with Ukrainians in London to show their support amid Russia's invasion of the country. They visited the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in London, meeting members of the Ukrainian community, including a group of schoolchildren, parents and leaders within the Ukrainian community.

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They also spoke to representatives across faith communities, volunteers helping the humanitarian effort and leaders of the prince's charities that are working to support the relief effort in Ukraine.

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Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (L) is welcomed by Romanian President Klaus Iohannis at the Cotroceni Palace, the Romanian Presidency headquarters in Bucharest, Romania
Prince Charles and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis. MIHAI BARBU/AFP via Getty Images

In Canada, during his tour last week with his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, the couple joined in prayers when they visited a Ukrainian church and the prince praised the Canadian government and people for welcoming many refugees.

His son Prince William and daughter-in-law Kate Middleton also made a surprise visit to the Ukrainian Cultural Centre in London in March to hear about the efforts being made to support Ukrainians in the U.K. and across Europe. They met with members of the community and volunteers to learn about services being offered at the center as well as the challenges they continue to face.

They also spoke with Saleh Saeed, CEO of the Disasters Emergency Committee, to hear about the ongoing Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, to which Queen Elizabeth made a "generous donation."

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