"We've had to choose our words carefully": how Prince William talks to his kids about Ukraine

The Prince's words no doubt resonate with many parents right now

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Prince's words no doubt resonate with many parents right now

It’s been two and a half weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine and the conflict is ongoing, with some commentators saying the worst is yet to come. 

Kids around the world will naturally be asking questions about what’s going on, and it seems the royal children are no different. 

As they visited London's Ukrainian Cultural Centre last week, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge revealed that their eldest children George and Charlotte have been asking about the war. 

Kate and William were meeting with volunteers as they packed humanitarian aid lorries going to Ukraine. 

Prince George, 8, and Princess Charlotte, 6, have been “asking all about” the war, William told the volunteers. 

“Ours have been coming home asking all about it,” said the Duke. “They are obviously talking about it with their friends at school.”

William added that he had to “choose my words carefully to explain what is going on”, suggesting that like so many parents, he is anxious about frightening his children. 

The royal couple handed out homemade chocolate brownies and granola bars to the volunteers, while wearing badges of support in Ukrainian yellow and blue. 

“For our generation, it's very alien to see this in Europe. We’re all right behind you,” Prince William commented, sparking a tide of backlash online.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and his wife Olena have thanked the royal couple for a Tweet saying they ‘stand’ with the people of Ukraine. 

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President Zelensky said: “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." 

We can all make a difference, however small, to support people under threat in Ukraine right now. And if you're struggling to talk to your own children about what's happening, you're not alone. There are plenty of resources online, such as these tips from charity Young Minds, to help you talk about the distressing events with more confidence. 

Kate Hollowood
Kate Hollowood is a freelance journalist and writes about a range of topics for Marie Claire UK, from reports on royal news and current affairs to features on health, careers and relationships. Based in London, Kate has also written for titles like the i paper, Refinery29, Cosmopolitan and It’s Nice That.