Duchess Of Edinburgh Spreads Some Festive Cheer For Ukrainian Refugees

Duchess Of Edinburgh Spreads Some Festive Cheer For Ukrainian Refugees

The Duchess of Edinburgh rolled up her sleeves and donned an apron as she turned volunteer at a Christmas party to support over 200 local Ukrainian refugees.

Sophie, 58, met families and youngsters during her very festive outing at The Lighthouse in Woking on Tuesday.

The charity, which the Duchess became patron of earlier this year, hosts a range of projects in central Woking and Barnsbury to support, encourage and empower those who find themselves in need.

It includes services such as the Woking Foodbank and the Jigsaw baby bank, which Sophie has previously visited.

Sophie served up lunch while the Ukrainian refugee choir ‘Kalyna’ sang Christmas carols for all the guests. There was also music from Ukrainian band Atmasfera and a visit from Sviatyij Mykolai (Saint Nicholas).

Royal mum-of-two Sophie also showed off her artistic side as she got involved in some festive face painting, drawing reindeer antlers on one delighted young girl.

Irina Garmash-Creeger, who heads up the refugee hub team said: “It was wonderful to see families who are parted from loved ones experience a taste of home and festivity. We wanted to celebrate their resilience and courage at this time of year, and seeing the children smiling and laughing was fantastic.”

The Lighthouse’s co-founder Rebecca Jespersen added: “This has been a very special day; working together to bring some light and joy at a time that is so distressing for displaced refugees who are far from their loved ones at home.”

The charity will be supporting around 4,000 local people who will find Christmas tough this year. Its Christmas Kindness appeal includes food hampers, toy vouchers for children, winter warming items, clothing, toiletries, a meal on Christmas Day and more.

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh are expected to join the King and Queen at Sandringham for Christmas, alongside their children, Lady Louise Windsor, 20, and James, Earl of Wessex, who turned 16 on 17 December.

For their 2023 Christmas card, Prince Edward and Sophie chose a photograph from the day they were given their new royal titles on Edwards’s 59th birthday in March. The couple were previously known as the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

The image was taken in Edinburgh, Scotland when the pair met members of the Ukrainian community at the City Chambers. Sophie wore a blue Roksanda dress for the occasion, in what appeared to be a nod to Ukraine’s flag.

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