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The Prince of Wales has spoken out about the ‘nightmare situation’ in Ukraine during a trip to Romania to meet refugees who have fled the war in their homeland.
Charles was joined by distant relative Margareta, head of the Romanian royal family, for the unannounced tour of a donation centre for refugees in the capital Bucharest.
More than a million Ukrainians have crossed the border into Romania since the Russian invasion in February and the nation has had to quickly adapt to deal with the needs of the displaced.
Speaking through an interpreter, the prince told a group of Ukrainian families: ‘We feel for Ukraine, a nightmare situation. Keep praying.’
The Prince of Wales has spoken out about the ‘nightmare situation’ in Ukraine during a trip to Romania to meet refugees who have fled the war in their homeland
The 73-year-old, pictured, met with members of the Red Cross during his visit to the Ukrainian refugee centre
Charles, who at one point clasped hands with a little boy, added: ‘I’m full of admiration for the Ukrainian people.’
He met representatives from non-governmental organisations and charities like the Salvation Army and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, working at the Romexpo donation centre to provide everything from children’s toys and toiletries to household goods and pet food.
Lilia Nimych, 33, an entrepreneur who produced a range of pet products in her home city of Bila Tserkva in central Ukraine, fled with her daughters Emily, six, and Nilana, 14.
She said: ‘I’m so happy we came here, we’ve received so much help.
The Prince of Wales met with members of the Red Cross during his visit to the Ukrainian refugee centre
Charles chatted briefly to Stephen Noble, a minister and Major with the Scarborough branch of the Salvation Army, who for the past month has been working in Romania with the organisation’s international emergency services section
He smiled and shook the hands of multiple volunteers at the centre, including those from the Salvation Army, which has 2,000 beds for Ukrainian refugees
The royal spoke of his admiration for the Ukranian people during his visit to the centre earlier today
‘All we saw from windows was bombs dropping… that’s why we left. We saw bombs coming down on our city – scary.’
After hearing Charles’s words of support she said: ‘It makes us brave and gives us the power to stand tall.’
Charles chatted briefly to Stephen Noble, a minister and Major with the Scarborough branch of the Salvation Army, who for the past month has been working in Romania with the organisation’s international emergency services section.
The section deploys to disasters around the world and from the distribution centre has been providing £10 vouchers to Ukrainians aged under 18 for their families to spend on goods they need.
He met representatives from non-governmental organisations and charities like the Salvation Army and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
The 73-year-old shook the hands of workers from the Salvation Army during his visit in Romania today
Charles appeared in good spirits as he chatted with Dr Raed Arafat, Vice President of the Red Cross
The 73-year-old also spoke to members of the Romanian Red Cross who have helped Ukrainian refugees at the centre
The minister said: ‘It may not seem a huge amount but when you think we’re seeing something in the order of 13,500 people, that’s a lot of money.’
‘I guess always we’re trying to bring dignity to people who are in tough situations, here we’ve got a lot of provision for clothing and provision for food and hygiene, this gives people the dignity to use the voucher in supermarkets, or pharmacies, or even for fuel.’
The prince’s tour of the Romexpo donation centre is the latest in a series of events he has attended to show solidarity with the plight of Ukraine and its people.
He has been a regular visitor to Romania over the past 20 years and set up the Prince of Wales Foundation Romania to support the development of farming, traditional skills and the preservation of historic buildings through training.
He smiled as he shook the hand of a representative from the charity World Vision at the centre in Romania
The Prince of Wales, pictured, met with members of the Red Cross during his visit to the Ukrainian refugee centre in Bucharest, Romania
Charles, pictured, listened intently as he met charity representatives and refugees at the centre in Romania
It is thought Charles, who earlier met Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, is spending time privately in the country ahead of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations which begin next week.
Charles was joined throughout the visit by local and national politicians alongside Margareta, who does not use her title of Queen of Romania but is known as the Custodian of the Romanian Crown.
Since the war began in February, more than one million Ukrainians have crossed the border into Romania.
Red Cross volunteers both in surrounding countries and Ukraine itself have been instrumental in rescuing and aiding many people to flee their homeland.
It was also reported in March that British royals including Prince Charles and Camillia were considering opening their homes to help Ukrainian refugees fleeing war.
Aides to the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William were understood to be examining a range of ‘practical measures’, including the possibility of jobs and training courses, as well as providing accommodation.
Charles was said to be looking at finding spaces on his Dumfries House estate in Ayrshire as well as sites across his Duchy of Cornwall holdings, which included a number of holiday homes.
Charles spoke to a refugee family at the centre in Bucharest, Romania during his visit today
At one stage, the royal clasped at the hand of one young boy, telling him and his family that he was ‘praying’ for them
As well as meeting with staff and volunteers, Prince Charles met with a number of young Ukrainian families
Charles was joined throughout the visit by local and national politicians alongside Margareta, who does not use her title of Queen of Romania but is known as the Custodian of the Romanian Crown
The Queen, Charles and his wife Camilla and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have also all donated to a coalition of 15 British charities working on the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine appeal.
Charles and William have also spoken out in support of Ukrainians resisting Russian aggression, but it is understood they are keen to do more as Britons prepare to welcome refugees under the Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme.
And last week, during their three-day royal tour of Canada for the Platinum Jubilee, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall met members of the Ukrainian community there.
They spoke with a refugee family, a mother and her two sons who had recently joined her sister in Ottawa after fleeing their homeland.
The royal couple also tried to make perogi and Camilla painted some eggs, as part of their visit to the Blessed Virgin Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral.
Prince Charles listened to Her Majesty Margareta as they arrived at the centre in Bucharest today
The Prince of Wales chatted with Margareta and Dr Raed ahead of the tour of the refugee centre in Bucharest
The royal opted to wear a smart navy suit for the occasion which he paired with a white shirt and a blue tie