Rishi Sunak’s Wife Welcomes Ukraine’s First Lady to Downing Street

credit: independent

London (Parliament Politics Maganize) – Akshata Murty, wife of Rishi Sunak, welcomed Ukraine’s First Lady, Olena Zelenska, to Downing Street for a special reception.

Ukraine’s first lady, Olena Zelenska, was greeted at Downing Street by Rishi Sunak’s wife, Akshata Murty. Welcoming at the door to Number 10, the pair turned to the cameras, held hands, and waved before entering PM’s House.

After a personal meeting, the first ladies entered the Pillared Room of Number 10 for an interpretation of the Ukrainian national anthem, acted by the Royal Opera House Songs for Ukraine Chorus – a choir of Ukrainian singers impacted by the war.

Presented by Ms. Murty as a “special, special moment,” Mrs. Zelenska stood with a hand on her heart as the pair attended to the chorus, most of whom were sporting traditional embroidered shirts called vyshyvanka.

Ukraine’s first lady had tears in her eyes as she later listened to a choir member express the kindness of the Royal Opera House. The Ukrainian Chorus member, whose father was a singer before being called up to the battle, told the choir was “a dream” and an “amazing opportunity.”

“Thank you so much to the Royal Opera House,” she added, “They let us spread our wings. I am so grateful.”

She said on the camaraderie the chorus offered: “The choir, I found friends here. It was so important to find this family.”

Mrs. Murty and Mrs. Zelenska last encountered outside No 10 in May last year, during a visit that witnessed Ukraine’s first lady observe the King’s coronation at Westminster Abbey. Earlier on Thursday, Mrs. Zelenska met the Queen at Clarence House.

She and Camilla were visualized in conversation as they sat in the Garden Room, with their gathering coming just days after the second anniversary of the Russian attack on Ukraine.

After the Downing Street reception, Ms. Murty and Mrs. Zelenska saw researchers at Imperial College London designing prosthetic technology for children in conflict zones.

PhD students Caitlin Edgar, Sumudith Jayasuriya, and Claudia Ghidini presented their research and prototypes to the guests. The Ukrainian first lady was quite interested in the 3D printing technology that the students are utilizing to create prototype prosthetic limbs and joints.

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She questioned the researchers how long the printer would take to finish the prototype knee, to which Miss Edgar answered it would be ready in approximately 24 hours. The students expressed it was striking to see Mrs. Zelenska’s attraction in their work as someone who had been at the forefront of war and who may have witnessed children directly affected by it.
Mrs. Zelenska started her visit to the UK on Wednesday by thanking Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron for his constant support for Ukraine. She later took to social media to praise Lord Cameron and the Prime Minister’s championing of recommendations to transfer Russian assets for the recovery of Ukraine. She also announced that Britain had joined the international coalition for the return of children abducted by Russia.

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.