Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met with British monarch King Charles III Office of the President of Ukraine/


  • The visit marked the first time King Charles III and Ukraine's President Zelensky met
  • Zelensky also visited a British army base where Ukrainian troops were being trained
  • Sunak pledged that Britain will now train Ukrainian pilots to use NATO-standard fighter jets

Volodymyr Zelensky, the President of Ukraine, on Wednesday made a surprise visit to the United Kingdom and was received by King Charles III.

The meeting, which occurred in Buckingham Palace, was the first time the British monarch and Zelensky had met. Photos shared by the Office of the President of Ukraine showed the King wearing a classic blue suit while shaking hands with Zelensky, who was wearing a military-style jumper and trousers.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the Buckingham Palace and met with British monarch King Charles III Office of the President of Ukraine/

During the meeting, Zelensky congratulated King Charles III for his recent ascension to the throne. He also thanked the monarch for showing support to Ukrainian citizens amid the Russian invasion.

"It is an honor for me to be the first President of Ukraine in the history of Ukrainian-British relations to be honored by the British monarch with an audience. I am grateful to His Majesty for the warm welcome and support of Ukrainian citizens who have found refuge from the war in the UK," Zelensky said, as quoted by Ukrainska Pravda.

Zelensky giving speech in the UK
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday made a direct plea to the UK for more heavy weaponries for use in the war against Russia Office of the President of Ukraine/

Following his audience with King Charles III, Zelensky, who was seen accompanied by U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, also visited an army base where Ukrainian troops are being trained by the British Armed Forces.

"I am proud of our air force. And I brought a present from them to you, Great Britain. Open, please. I will explain. It's the helmet of a real Ukrainian pilot. He is one of our most successful aces. He is one of our kings. And the writing on the helmet reads: 'We have freedom. Give us wings to protect it,'" Zelensky said in his speech.

"I trust this symbol will help us form our next coalition – coalition of the planes. I appeal to you and the world with simple and yet most important words: Combat aircrafts – for Ukraine! Wings – for freedom!"

Speaker of the House of Commons Lindsay Hoyle holds aloft a Ukrainian air force ace's helmet presented by President Volodymyr Zelensky

In response, Sunak announced that Britain will now train Ukrainian pilots on the operation of NATO-standard fighter jets as part of the UK's commitment "to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Ukraine for years to come," per POLITICO.

Sunak also said "nothing is off the table" with regard to Zelensky's call for more combat aircraft to use in the war.

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