SUPPORT OUR JOURNALISM: Please consider donating to keep our website running and free for all - thank you!

European RoyalsSpain

King Felipe and Queen Letizia visit Red Cross unit in charge of Ukrainian response

King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain added an unannounced engagement to their agenda and visited the Red Cross’s Spanish headquarters in Madrid to take a look at the work of the Ukrainian crisis unit’s work. 

Their Majesties arrived in Avenida de la Reina Victoria on Wednesday, 23 March and were welcomed by the Minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migrations, the Mayor of Madrid and the President of the Spanish Red Cross. 

Once inside, they walked to the Operation Centre room, where they received the salute of the Vice Director of the Operations Centre and the Director of the Rescue Area, both working for the Spanish Red Cross. 

After receiving a briefing regarding the demands from Ukraine and the rest of the world that are coming because of the conflict, the King and Queen walked to the Crisis Unit room, where they sat for a roundtable discussion about the unit’s work. 

Following the talks, the sovereign and his wife had a chance to chat with the volunteers in the welcome management, data and communications, and volunteering areas of the unit. 

To finalise the visit, King Felipe and Queen Letizia held an off-camera meeting with everyone involved before departing. Queen Letizia presumably headed back to La Zarzuela, while King Felipe traveled to El Pardo Palace, where he held a series of receptions. 

The Spanish Red Cross’s Ukrainian Crisis Unit was constituted following Russia’s unilateral invasion of Ukraine at the end of February and aims to coordinate the country’s response to the conflict. 

It is currently staffed by roughly 30 people working in different unit departments, like social inclusion, health, rescue, volunteering, international cooperation and more. 

In particular, it needs to be remarked that, from the structure of the unit, it seems clear that the Red Cross aims at providing support for longer term solutions, like employment, rather than limit themselves to offering temporary shelter and aid.