Prince William became the first member of the British Royal Family to visit British troops stationed in Poland who are supporting the Ukrainian resistance on Wednesday, as he conducted a two-day tour of Poland.
The Prince of Wales met with soldiers at a British Army base in the southeastern city of Rzeszów before engaging with Ukrainian refugees in Warsaw.
During the meeting, which was not publicly announced ahead of time, Prince William thanked troops for “keeping everyone safe” and “keeping an eye on what’s going on.”
“You’re doing a really important job out here and defending our freedoms is really important, and everyone back home thoroughly supports you,” he added.
The heir to the British throne also met with Polish troops in Rzeszów, about an hour’s drive from the Ukrainian border, before returning to the Polish capital where he visited a Ukrainian refugee center.
“It’s fantastic to be back in Poland,” Prince William said upon landing in Warsaw.
“Our nations have strong ties. Through our cooperation in support of the people of Ukraine and their freedom, which are also our freedoms and yours, these ties are further strengthened.
“I’m here because I want to personally thank the Polish and British troops working in close and crucial partnership.
“I also want to pay tribute to the inspiring humanity of the Polish people. You have opened your hearts as much as your homes,” he added.
On Thursday morning, Prince William laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier located in Warsaw’s Pilsudski Square and visited the Presidential Palace to meet with President Andrzej Duda. A royal statement said the royal’s visit was intended to “reiterate the profound relationship shared by our two nations.”
A royal spokesperson described the talks as “warm and friendly,” and revealed they were “predominately focused on the ongoing conflict with the war in Ukraine, particularly its impact on Polish society.”