though queen elizabeth has not spoken publicly about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, she has expressed her feelings about the situation with one significant action. On Thursday, the UK charity Disasters Emergency Committee announced that the queen made a donation to support their fundraising efforts.
“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,” the group said in to tweet. Buckingham Palace later confirmed to the Sun that the queen had made the donation with her private funds, but did not share the amount.
Disaster Emergency Committee, an umbrella organization for 15 British charities to launch collective fundraisers and coordinated responses after disasters overseas, began its appeal for Ukraine’s refugees on Thursday. The group said it plans to distribute the funds to five charities already working in Poland, Hungary, Moldova, Slovakia, and Romania. In a House of Commons speech Wednesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the appeal and said that the British government will match donations up to £20 million.
Though the queen is bound to strict neutrality in political matters and rarely comments on them, she canceled a planned diplomatic reception this week due to the crisis in Ukraine. One senior official told the Times that the Palace was happy to withdraw invitations from Russian and Belarusian diplomats to make it “clear the Queen was signaling her disapproval.”
The queen frequently comments on natural disasters and has given to the DEC in the past. In 2004, she donated to their appeal for victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami, and in 2005 she donated to support humanitarian efforts after the Kashmir earthquake. After that donation, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said, “The queen hopes it will encourage others to give and be generous.”
On Thursday, Clarence House announced that Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, had also made a private donation to the Daily Mail‘s refugee fundraiser. “No one could fail to be moved by the appalling scenes of Ukrainians fleeing their homes and the duchess wanted to help in whatever way she could,” her spokesperson told the newspaper.
The donations come after other members of the royal family have spoken out on the crisis. over the weekend, prince william and Kate Middleton expressed support for the people of Ukraine on their Twitter account and were thanked by President Volodomyr Zelensky, who they welcomed to Buckingham Palace in October 2020. On Wednesday, Camilla joined prince charles on a visit to the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in London, where they lit candles and spoke to Vadym Prystaiko, Ukraine’s ambassador to Britain. According to People, Camilla comforted Prystaiko’s wife, Inna, with a hug and said, “We are praying for you.”
During the visit, Charles gave an impromptu speech condemning the attack on the country. “Our thoughts and prayers, however inadequate they may be, are with all of you at this most difficult time,” he said. “I must say, my wife and I have been deeply moved by everything we’ve 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.”
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