The Princess of Wales has praised the "bravery and resilience" of Ukrainian women forced to move their children to the UK.

In a series of moving and at times tearful conversations at the Ukrainian Community Centre in Reading, Catherine met with several mothers and grandmothers to talk about their experiences.

It came as Buckingham Palace confirmed the Princess of Wales had offered help to Ukraine’s First Lady, Olena Zelenska, with her efforts to tackle the impact the war was having on the mental health of Ukrainians.

Refugee Galina Bolebrukh apologised to Catherine after weeping as she described how in just two hours earlier this year, she had decided to pack up and leave her home to keep her son and mother safe, leaving her husband in Ukraine.

As Galina wiped her tears, Kate comforted her, saying: "No, it’s understandable. [With] everything that you’ve been through, it’s a natural reaction.

"But to know that there are places like this that you can come to and meet other families, who really understand what you’ve been through, and also to find the right support here for you, for your families, is really important".

As Kate moved from table to table, she repeatedly said: "I wish we could do more."

She then told the group that she admired their "bravery", adding: "You’re showing a resilience [and] I’m overwhelmed by how strong you all are."

Kate was also overheard talking to a little girl about whether she felt safe living here as she joined a group of young children for one of the centre’s regular art sessions.

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Princess Catherine is working with Ms Zelenska on her campaign to improve Ukrainians’ mental health amid the conflict.

Kate met her at Buckingham Palace in September when she was in London for the Queen’s funeral.

During the meeting, they talked about their shared interest in tackling the stigma around mental wellbeing.

In August, Ukraine’s First Lady launched her own mental health strategy to address the psychological impact the ongoing conflict was having.

As a result, the Princess offered the help and expertise of her own Royal Foundation, which has focused on mental health.

Last week a virtual meeting between the Royal Foundation and representatives from the First Lady’s office, along with mental health experts working in the UK, saw the sharing of ideas on reducing stigma on a national level.

They also discussed how best to support children and veterans.

While Kate and Olena Zelenska did not take part, they are being kept informed on the progress of the conversations and contact.

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