Olena Zelenska’s subtle nod to Ukraine

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The wife of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky paid subtle tribute to her home country as she joined the Princess of Wales and other senior royals at a Buckingham Palace reception on Sunday night. 

First Lady Olena Zelenska wore a pin inspired by a rushnyk, a piece of fabric embroidered with traditional Ukrainian symbols, as she arrived for the ‘reception of the century’. 

Mrs Zelenska, who is representing her husband President Zelensky, pinned the simple gold accessory on a smart black blazer. 

First Lady Olena Zelenska wore a pin inspired by a rushnyk, a piece of fabric embroidered with traditional Ukrainian symbols, as she arrived for the ‘reception of the century’

The Ukrainian First Lady chatted to the Princess of Wales ahead of the 'reception of the century' at Buckingham Palace on Saturday night

The Ukrainian First Lady chatted to the Princess of Wales ahead of the ‘reception of the century’ at Buckingham Palace on Saturday night

Mrs Zelenska has worn the pin on a number of previous occasions, including on a visit to the US earlier this year (pictured)

Mrs Zelenska has worn the pin on a number of previous occasions, including on a visit to the US earlier this year (pictured)

The pin is from the jewellery label Guzema in a collaboration with the label Gunia Project. 

The President’s wife has worn the pin on a number of occasions, including on a visit to the US earlier this year. 

Earlier today, Mrs Zelenska made the trip to Westminster Hall to pay her respects to the Queen. 

Later she joined royals including the disgraced King Juan Carlos of Spain at the Buckingham Palace reception.  

King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla are preparing to host 1,000 VIPs including US President Joe Biden, New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern and Canadian premier Justin Trudeau, at Buckingham Palace this evening.

The list of dignitaries includes President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, Irish Taoiseach Micheal Martin, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed and Colombia’s First Lady Veronica Alcocer Gargia and Foreign Minister Alvaro Leyva.

The two women spoke during a Buckingham Palace meeting earlier today (pictured L-R: Princess of Wales, First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska)

The two women spoke during a Buckingham Palace meeting earlier today (pictured L-R: Princess of Wales, First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska)

The wife of Ukraine's President Zelensky, Olena Zelenska, bows her head as she pays tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II

The wife of Ukraine’s President Zelensky, Olena Zelenska, bows her head as she pays tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II

Ms Zelenska was earlier spotted entering Westminster Hall, where the late monarch is currently lying in state

Ms Zelenska was earlier spotted entering Westminster Hall, where the late monarch is currently lying in state

Olena Zelenska looks reflective and sombre as she pays respect to Her Majesty

Olena Zelenska looks reflective and sombre as she pays respect to Her Majesty

Ms Zelenska appeared alongside other members of the Ukrainian delegation to the UK

Ms Zelenska appeared alongside other members of the Ukrainian delegation to the UK

However, it also includes a string of controversial strongmen, including Bolsonaro, who was filmed today giving a thunderous speech from the windows of the Brazilian Embassy in London to a cheering crowd waving the national flag. 

His allies hope his four-day international trip – first in London, then at the UN Assembly General session in New York – will sway some voters in the upcoming elections, give him some gravitas after almost four years of rifts with other world leaders and provide material for TV ads.

And today the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia confirmed that Mohammed Bin Salman, known by the abbreviation MBS, had been invited to attend the funeral. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (R) and his wife Olena have presented a united front since Russia invaded Ukraine in February

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (R) and his wife Olena have presented a united front since Russia invaded Ukraine in February

He was set to hold talks with British Prime Minister Liz Truss on Sunday evening, despite international outrage after ordering Saudi agents to brutally murder and dismember Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey in 2018.

And Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the authoritarian ruler who has jailed hundreds of journalists and busily dismantled Turkish democracy, is also coming to the funeral.

China has announced it will send its vice-president, Wang Qishan, but was barred by parliamentary leaders from the lying-in-state. 

Due to strained ties, the UK opted to invite ambassadors, not heads of state, from Iran, Nicaragua and North Korea. Meanwhile, Russia and Belarus are among a small group of nations excluded altogether following Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

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