“The visit of His Majesty the King along with Mrs. Zelenska offers a powerful sign of solidarity between the people of the United Kingdom and our sisters and brothers in Ukraine,” said Bishop Kenneth Nowakowski, eparch of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of the Holy Family of London. “We are honored that His Majesty has come back to our cathedral, and we pray his next visit will be to give thanks for an end to the war – a war that has taken so many innocent lives.”
After being presented with the traditional Ukrainian welcome of bread and salt, King Charles met with staff, volunteers and benefactors of the center, temporarily displaced Ukrainians and their British sponsors, as well as Ukrainian community represented by the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain, a UWC member. His Majesty received a gift from the AUGB – a famous photo of the King dancing hopak, a Ukrainian folk dance, with a group of dancers during a visit to the Ukrainian community in Derby in 1981.
The bishop also presented to King Charles an icon of the Theotokos of Eleousa – the Mother of God of Tenderness – a gift from His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. The icon had been written by Ukrainian artists Oleksandr Klymenko and Sofia Atlantova on a munition box board brought from the front as part of their charity project “Icons on Ammo Boxes,” also called “Buy an Icon – Save a Life.”