Ukraine’s first lady Olena Zelenska speaks of ‘affinity’ with the Queen after meeting

Olena Zelenska said that there is an 'affinity' between her and the Queen after their meeting at Clarence Houce
Olena Zelenska, left, and the Queen were pictured in conversation in the garden room of Clarence House - Yui Mok/PA

Olena Zelenska, the first lady of Ukraine, said that there is an “affinity” between her and Queen Camilla as both of them have to “rise to expectations”.

It comes as the Queen, 76, met with Ms Zelenska at Clarence House just days after the second anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2024.

“It would be difficult to compare our activities, but there are expectations from the public and you feel that, and you have to rise to those expectations,” Ms Zelenska said in an interview on Piers Morgan Uncensored, the Sun reports.

“And in this sense, I guess, there’s an affinity. She told me how many letters she’s getting, addressed to His Majesty. And she tries to respond to most of them.”

The two women were pictured in conversation in the garden room of the Queen’s London residence last week. The Queen placed her arm behind Ms Zelenska’s back as she guided her along a hallway ahead of the meeting.

The Queen welcomes Olena Zelenska  to Clarence House
Olena Zelenska: It's very good to know that we have very sincere and powerful friends here in the Royal Family - Yui Mok/PA

The King, who is in London as he receives ongoing treatment for cancer, did not attend the meeting.

The Queen has been dubbed the monarchy’s “saviour” and praised for keeping “the show on the road” in the King’s absence and and while the Princess of Wales is recovering from abdominal surgery.

Ms Zelenska added: “And it was very good to hear that many Ukrainians wrote support towards His Majesty because of his health. It’s very good to know that we have very sincere and powerful friends here in the Royal Family.”

King Charles, 75, issued a strongly-worded message to mark the anniversary, speaking of the “indescribable aggression” that has faced Ukrainians since what he called the “unprovoked attack on their land”.

Ms Zelenska said she was grateful for the King’s support and when the then Prince of Wales and his wife travelled to the Ukrainian Cultural Centre in London shortly after the war began.

“Those were shocking days after the start of the large-scale invasion,” she said, “and every sign of support was very important to us, for us to understand that we were not alone in this tragedy.

“I don’t know what would have happened if we hadn’t seen signs like that. I think we would have been more lost and disoriented.”

Plans for the King to visit Australia are still being drawn up despite his cancer diagnosis, as the Government consults on the schedule for a royal tour in the autumn.

The King and Queen are pencilled in to travel in October and early November, coordinating with the Commonwealth heads of government meeting in Samoa.