William and Kate back at Buckingham Palace to welcome Ukranian president

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have welcomed the president and first lady of Ukraine to the UK at the first royal event at Buckingham Palace since lockdown.

William and Kate greeted President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who was accompanied by his wife Оlena, during an audience on behalf of the Queen.

The royal pair met the president and his wife, who are on a two day visit, in the palace’s Throne Room.

Neither parties wore masks and they did not partake in the traditional handshakes which were the pre-pandemic custom for royal audiences.

During the brief meeting, the couples stood socially distanced before moving to two separate ornate sofas to continue their conversation.

Kate, who was dressed in a cornflower blue belted dress, and William, in a suit and tie, were seen smiling broadly as they spoke to their guests.

The palace confirmed it was the first time the Queen’s central London residence – seen as the headquarters of the monarchy – had been used for a royal engagement for seven months – since the nation went into lockdown during the coronavirus outbreak.