Prince William made a secret visit to Poland to thank British and Polish troops for their support of Ukraine.
Prince of Wales visited Rzeszow military bases, located just 60 miles from border with Ukraine – the closest senior member of Royal Family to the war.
The visit was secretive until the prince left the base.
Prince William met with the Polish defense minister and soldiers from the Polish Territorial Defence Force in order to learn more about their support for Ukraine. He also praised their “passion” as well as their “determination to protect our common freedoms”.
He wrote about the Polish people’s “inspiration for humanity”, reflecting the country’s humanitarian response.
He said, “You have opened up your hearts as much your homes,”
The prince also met British soldiers stationed in the region, and asked about their experiences in Poland as well as supporting Ukraine.
Rzeszow is now a key point of entry to Ukraine. It is also where the majority of Western weapons are brought to Ukraine.
Since the Russian invasion, billions of pounds worth of ammunition and weaponry have been sent through the US-led hub.
Prince William will also be visiting Warsaw, where he will visit an accommodation center that has been providing refuge for families fleeing the war.
This centre is located at the forefront of the humanitarian crisis and provides refuge for 300 children and women from Ukraine.
Prince William will place a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Warsaw as part of the two day trip. This gesture is similar to the 1996 visit of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh who placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw.
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The Prince of Wales will also meet with the Polish President Andrzej Duba at the Presidential Palace. He said that he would use the meeting as an opportunity to share the “profound relationship” between the two countries.
The government planned the visit to show solidarity with Ukrainian troops. The visit also sends Russia a strong message during the week that the Chinese president visited Moscow.
Even though members of the Royal Family are not allowed to get involved directly in politics, their “soft power” has significant influence.
During his surprise visit to the UK, Volodymyr Zelenskyy from Ukraine was hosted by the King at Buckingham Palace in February.