Prince William has made a surprise trip to Poland to "look into the eyes" of people and thank them for their support towards neighbouring Ukraine in the war against Russia.
The Prince of Wales spend Wednesday afternoon with troops from both Poland and the UK, who have been helping to train Ukrainian forces, before heading to Warsaw to meet some of 300 Ukrainian women and children who are currently being housed in a converted office block.
A spokesperson told People magazine: "He wanted to look into the eyes of the Polish people and say thank you for everything they have done. That is the main message he was putting across to the Polish and British military."
The prince told the British troops: "Thank you for hosting me today. I just wanted to come here in person to say 'thank you' for all you are doing — keeping everyone safe out here and keeping an eye on what's going on.
"Just a big thank you for what you do on a day-to-day basis.
"I know some of you are coming to the end of your time out here. So looking forward to a bit of 'R and R' when you get home. You are doing a really important job out here and defending our freedoms is really important and everyone back home thoroughly supports you. And everything you are doing with the Poles and our Polish counterparts in providing that safety is really important. Lovely to meet you and good luck."
William - who has children Princes George and Louis, nine and four, and seven-year-old Princess Charlotte with wife Catherine, Princess of Wales - told people in Warsaw that it was "fantastic" to be back in Poland for the first time since 2017.
He said: "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."
On Thursday (23.03.23), the prince will visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to pay his respects to the country's war dead before meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda at the Presidential Palace.
He will also visit a food hall in Warsaw, where he will meet with refugees who have been in the country for around a year to learn how they have settled into employment or education in Poland.
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