Prince William's 'ignorant' comment on Ukraine sparks backlash

Prince William has been strongly criticized after calling the war in Ukraine 'alien' to Europe

Prince William's 'ignorant' Ukraine comment sparks backlash
(Image credit: Getty)

Prince William is facing criticism after making an offhand remark about Russia's invasion of Ukraine during his latest public engagement. 

Prince William has been criticized for an 'offensive' comment he made about Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in which he expressed dismay that such a situation could occur in Europe. 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the Ukrainian Cultural Center in London on Wednesday, to show their support for the war-torn country and to help volunteers pack donations for the people affected by the conflict. They also brought a tray of homemade brownies and granola bars from Kensington Palace for their hosts to enjoy during the busy shift. 

The engagement comes nearly three weeks after President Putin launched a vicious attack on Ukraine, which the UN claims has now killed at least 406 Ukrainian citizens and forced another 2 million to flee the country. 

"It's very alien to see this in Europe," William told the volunteers yesterday afternoon. "We are all behind you." 

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Many people have since condemned the 39-year-old's comments, with some even accusing him of failing to understand the history of British colonialism in Europe. 

“How do you have a 1,000-year history of colonialism, a literal 100-year war, launch 2 World Wars, allow multiple genocides, & bomb a dozen nations since 9/11 alone—yet make this type of a statement,” human rights lawyer Qasim Rashid asked.

Others have called Prince William 'racist' for suggesting there's a difference between bloodsheds in Europe and other continents, like Africa or Asia. 

"Prince William’s comments are deeply offensive. He must apologize. This future King of England parrots racist rhetoric shamelessly," said British-Nigerian lawyer, Dr. Shola Mos-Shogbamimu.

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Omid Scobie, the co-author of Meghan and Harry's biography, Finding Freedom, admitted he is 'unsurprised' by the negative response to Prince William's 'ignorant remark.' 

"Europe has seen some of the bloodiest conflict in the past two centuries—Balkans, Yugoslavia, Germany, and Kosovo to name a few," the royal editor wrote on Twitter. "But sure, let's normalize war and death in Africa and Asia." 

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In the same conversation, Prince William admitted he and Kate feel ‘useless’ amid the ongoing crisis. He also said that their two older children, George and Charlotte, have been asking questions about Ukraine after they come home from school. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.