Kate greets Zelensky’s wife at Buckingham Palace

Kate greets Zelensky's wife at Buckingham Palace after she paid tribute to Queen

Olena Zelenska will represent Ukraine at the Queen’s funeral while her husband oversees the war effort (Picture: PA)

Kate, Princess of Wales, is meeting with the First Lady of Ukraine in Buckingham Palace as she stands in for her husband to pay respects to the Queen in London.

Olena Zelenska will attend Monday’s funeral without her husband, Volodymyr Zelensky, who stayed behind to oversee the war effort.

She was seen bowing her head before the late monarch’s coffin on Sunday as world leaders trickled into Westminster Hall to follow suit.

Arriving shortly after the US President, Joe Biden, she approached the Queen’s penultimate resting place accompanied by an entourage of Ukrainian officials and bodyguards.

As pictures of her meeting in Buckingham Palace emerged, eagle-eyed royal fans spotted an apparent tribute by Kate to Princess Diana.

She wore a three-strand pearl bracelet which belonged to her husband’s late mother.

The delicate piece, which Diana wore during a royal tour of Hong Kong, was inherited by a young Prince William, who gifted it to Kate as an adult.

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The First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska (right) views the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, lying in state on the catafalque in Westminster Hall, at the Palace of Westminster, London, ahead of her funeral on Monday. Picture date: Sunday September 18, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story DEATH Queen. Photo credit should read: Jacob King/PA Wire

Olena Zelenska, right, bowed her head as she viewed the late monarch’s coffin (Picture: PA)

Some 500 heads of state and government leaders were due to arrive at the Palace for a reception hosted by King Charles III.

As well as President Biden, they include France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, and foreign royals such as Queen Maxima of the Netherlands and Norway’s Queen Sonja.

It’s expected to be one of the largest gatherings of world dignitaries in the last half century.

Earlier this week, President Zelensky took time out of his intense schedule to sign a book of condolences for the Queen.

His message praised the monarch’s ‘selfless service’ and said her death was a ‘great loss’ to the Ukrainian people.

The UK’s ambassador to Kyiv, Melinda Simmons, said she was ‘deeply honoured’ by the gesture.

Sharing a picture of Zelensky signing the book at his desk, she wrote on Twitter: ‘Grateful to the president for taking the time to do this given all else that is happening in (Ukraine) at this time.’

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