Britain’s Prince Charles calls Russian invasion of Ukraine an ‘attack on democracy’

The future king sent a message of solidarity to Ukrainians ‘resisting brutal aggression’

Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall pictured in Southend, Essex, on Tuesday. Photo: AFP
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Britain’s Prince Charles has called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine an attack on democracy and offered solidarity to Ukrainians “bravely fighting for their future”.

The heir to the British throne made a rare intervention in politics by condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attack on the former Soviet nation.

Speaking during a visit to Southend-on-Sea, Essex, on Tuesday, the future king said the killing of the constituency’s former MP Sir David Amess was “an attack on democracy … an open society, on freedom itself”.

"We are seeing those same values under attack today in Ukraine in the most unconscionable way," Charles said.

"In the stand we take here, we are in solidarity with all those who are resisting brutal aggression."

Sir David was stabbed to death while he met constituents at a weekly public meeting on October 15. A suspect is awaiting trial on murder and terrorism offences.

Charles visited Southend to present the mayor with the Letters Patent, which grants it city status – a campaign championed by Sir David.

As the head of state, Queen Elizabeth II has to remain politically neutral, and senior royals are expected to follow suit.

Typically, members of the British royal family do not vote and do not share their political views in public.

The dire situation unfolding in Ukraine has prompted members of the monarchy to express their solidarity with suffering Ukrainians.

Prince William and his wife Kate last weekend sent a personal message of support to Ukraine.

In a tweet, they recalled meeting Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his wife Olena Zelenska in October 2020, and hearing of their "hope and optimism" for the country.

"Today we stand with the president and all of Ukraine's people as they bravely fight for that future," the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said.

William's younger brother, Prince Harry, and his wife, Meghan, last Friday sent their own message from the US, where they moved last year after quitting royal life.

"We stand with the people of Ukraine," they wrote on the website of their charitable organisation Archewell, calling Russia's invasion a "breach of international and humanitarian law".

Since leaving royal life in 2020, Harry and Meghan have had the freedom to speak about political matters.

Updated: March 02, 2022, 8:19 AM