How Queen Elizabeth's final message of support for Ukraine inspired king

Charles III praises country's 'remarkable courage and resilience', echoing his late mother's words

Queen Elizabeth II attending Ascot in 2018. Getty Images
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Weeks before she died, Queen Elizabeth II paid tribute to the Ukrainian people, calling on them to “celebrate their culture, history and identity”.

Now, King Charles III has followed in his mother's footsteps with his own declaration of support on the anniversary of the Russian invasion.

The British monarchpraised the “remarkable courage and resilience” of Ukraine's people and spoke about the challenging year they have faced.

“It has now been a year that the people of Ukraine have suffered unimaginably from an unprovoked full-scale attack on their nation,” he said.

“They have shown truly remarkable courage and resilience in the face of such human tragedy.

“The world has watched in horror at all the unnecessary suffering inflicted upon Ukrainians, many of whom I have had the great pleasure of meeting here in the UK and, indeed, across the world, from Romania to Canada.

“Earlier this month I met President Zelenskyy at Buckingham Palace to express my personal support for the people of Ukraine. It is heartening that the United Kingdom, along with its allies, is doing everything possible to help at this most difficult time.

“Therefore, I can only hope the outpouring of solidarity from across the globe may bring not only practical aid, but also strength from the knowledge that, together, we stand united.”

In August, two weeks before her death, the queen congratulated Ukrainians in a message to mark the country's Independence Day, the 31st anniversary of it becoming an independent state after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

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The message was shared by Kyiv's British embassy, which tweeted: “On their 31st anniversary of Independence, Her Majesty the Queen congratulates Ukrainians.”

It continued: “In an address to the President of Ukraine she said: ‘It gives me great pleasure to send Your Excellency and the people of Ukraine my warmest greetings on the celebration of your Independence Day.

“In this most challenging year, I hope that today will be a time for the Ukrainian people, both in Ukraine and around the world, to celebrate their culture, history and identity.

“May we look to better times in the future. Elizabeth R.”

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy praised the king's support for Ukraine, in a speech to the British Parliament earlier this month. He referred to the monarch’s own air force training, telling parliamentarians that in his country every pilot is a “king”.

King Charles III and the military — in pictures

King Charles shook the hands of Mr Zelenskyy during their meeting at Buckingham Palace later that day, telling him: “We've all been worried about you and thinking about your country for so long.”

Earlier this week the king watched Ukrainian troops training in Wiltshire, saying he is “full of admiration” for them.

Updated: February 24, 2023, 2:51 PM