Ukraine's President Excludes Meghan And Harry In His Royal Shout-Out

The royal family typically stays out of politics, but Prince William and Kate Middleton broke ranks to share their support for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy following the devastating invasion of his country by Russian troops. "In October 2020 we had the privilege to meet President Zelensky and the First Lady to learn of their hope and optimism for Ukraine's future," the famous couple wrote via their official Twitter account. "Today we stand with the President and all of Ukraine's people as they bravely fight for that future." 

Per the Evening Standard, the Cambridges met Zelenskyy and his wife during a visit to Buckingham Palace, as part of an audience with the queen. It's worth noting the monarch herself has yet to comment on the unfolding situation, but that's not particularly surprising. Elsewhere, royal defectors Meghan Markle and Prince Harry made a powerful joint statement on their Archewell website. Confirming, "We stand with the people of Ukraine," the celebrity couple decried the invasion as a "breach of international and humanitarian law" and encouraged "the global community and its leaders to do the same."

However, despite the relative similarity in their statements, one couple was markedly left out when Zelenskyy praised the royals for speaking up.

Meghan and Harry's support was not publicly acknowledged by the Ukrainian leader

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy took to Twitter to thank Prince William and Kate Middleton for their recent support of his nation, which is currently under siege by neighboring Russia. "Olena and I are grateful to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge that at this crucial time, when Ukraine is courageously opposing Russia's invasion, they stand by our country and support our brave citizens. Good will triumph," he wrote via his official account, leaving out former royals Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who also publicly voiced their support for Ukraine in recent days.

Notably, Zelenskyy likewise tweeted his thanks to King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands. It's entirely possible the Ukrainian leader privately thanked Meghan and Harry, or perhaps he didn't feel it was necessary to publicly acknowledge their statement, since the Sussexes gave up being working royals over a year ago and are therefore free to comment publicly whenever they like. In contrast, William and Kate are taking a chance by giving their take on the ongoing crisis, since they're still active members of the royal family who generally refrain from weighing in on such matters (per Insider).  

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle further expressed support for Ukraine in an acceptance speech

It's worth noting that Meghan and Harry reiterated their public support of Ukraine while accepting the President's Award at the recent NAACP Image Awards on February 26. In the three minutes of speaking time the couple had (via The Cut), Harry encouraged people to stand with Ukraine, sharing, "We would like to acknowledge the people of Ukraine who urgently need our continued support as a global community."

While Ukraine's president may not have acknowledged Harry and Meghan's efforts in drumming up support for the besieged nation, the rest of the world has made note of their efforts. "I applaud Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan for standing up for ... Ukraine. It was a beautiful speech, and I know they stand behind their words," tweeted one such person.

"Harry and Meghan are indeed leaders leading with compassion," tweeted another supporter of the couple.

Ukraine's president hasn't been the only person to dismiss their support

Unfortunately, the President of Ukraine was not the only person to dismiss Harry and Meghan's message of support. In fact, some outright condemned it (via Forbes). The couple's Archewell non-profit was created to focus on issues in the United States, after all; many U.K. residents were disappointed by the charity excluding Harry's home country, only to rally support around Ukraine.

Due to this, the couple received backlash from several prominent British commentators (via News Australia). Piers Morgan, who has never been afraid to voice his distaste for the couple, sarcastically tweeted, "This will really rattle Putin," in reference to their Archewell post.

Richard Eden, a Daily Mail editor, joined in on the ridicule, writing, "It's all over for Putin." One of Eden's followers responded, tweeting, "Stands with the people of Ukraine but not with his family or his country? Ok."

The response to Meghan and Harry's show of support for Ukraine serves as a sharp contrast to the response Kate and William received. Not only were the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge acknowledged by President Zelenskyy, Meghan and Harry's message had a far more unpleasant response, overall. People were quick to point out the discrepancy, with one person noting on Twitter that the British tabloids have "praise[d] the Cambridges for doing the same thing they ridicule the Sussexes for doing."