Days after returning to royal duties following her concerning COVID-19 diagnosis, the Queen has turned her attention to the devastating conflict in Ukraine.
The world watched on in horror as Russia invaded the small neighbouring nation on February 24, igniting a conflict that has left thousands of Ukrainians fleeing their homes as Russian forces attack major cities like Kyiv.
It’s a conflict the likes of which we haven’t seen in Europe in decades, with much of the fighting and destruction playing out across social media feeds and TV news in harrowing live footage.
Traditionally, the Queen and the extended monarchy are expected to remain politically neutral, but on Thursday UK time, Her Majesty made the telling decision to put her support behind the people of Ukraine.
In a rare move, the 95-year-old monarch donated a “generous” sum to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), a coalition of British aid charities specifically working to aid people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine.
“Many thanks to Her Majesty The Queen for continuing to support the Disasters Emergency Committee and for making a generous donation to the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal,” read a statement on Twitter.
Though Buckingham Palace chose not to comment on the donation, saying it was a private matter, the Queen has sent a clear message; she’s supporting the people of Ukraine.
And she’s not the only royal making herself heard when it comes to the conflict raging just over 3,000km from English soil.
Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge were the first to publicly support the Ukrainian people, taking to Twitter to share a poignant message of support.
“In October 2020 we had the privilege to meet President [Volodymyr] Zelenskyy and the First Lady to learn of their hope and optimism for Ukraine’s future,” they wrote.
“Today we stand with the President and all of Ukraine’s people as they bravely fight for that future.”
Prince Charles first spoke out against the Russian invasion earlier this week, calling it “unconscionable” and an attack on democracy, open society and freedom itself.
“We are in solidarity with all those who are resisting brutal aggression,” he added, speaking at an engagement in Southend-on-Sea with wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
The very next day the couple, who will one day be King and Queen Consort of England, travelled to the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in London to spend time with locals and members of the clergy.
Camilla was left in tears at the event, with Charles telling the families gathered at the cathedral how moved he was by the visit.
“I must say my wife and I have been deeply moved by everything we have heard today during our visit and above all by the extraordinary bravery, generosity and fortitude of the Ukrainian community in the face of such truly terrible aggression,” he told the congregation.
In the US, Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex also spoke out against the Russian invasion during their appearance at the NAACP Image Awards this week.
A number of royal charities are currently working to support the Ukrainian relief effort as women and children continue to flee the country.
Men between the ages of 18 and 60 are currently required to stay in Ukraine in order to serve mandatory military duties, forcing many families to leave sons, brothers and husbands in the ravaged cities of Kyiv and beyond.
If you’re feeling helpless looking at the news these days, here’s what you can do to help.