The Prince of Wales visited British troops stationed at a military base in Poland near the Ukrainian border to thank them for their service and for supporting the Ukrainian war effort.
The visit to the base in the south-eastern Polish city of Rzeszow on Wednesday was kept under wraps until the Prince returned to Warsaw, per Reuters. Rzeszow is an hour’s drive from the Ukrainian border.
British troops have been stationed in the city to provide support to Ukraine, per the BBC.
Prince William met Polish defense minister Mariusz Blaszczak at the military base, spoke with Polish and British soldiers, and checked out military equipment while on his visit.
“I just wanted to come here in person to say thank you for all that you’re doing, keeping everyone safe out here and keeping an eye on what’s going on,” he told the soldiers, per a video by The Royal Family Channel.
He added: “You’re doing a really important job out here and defending our freedoms is really important, and everyone back home thoroughly supports you.”
He later returned to Warsaw, where he visited a center housing 300 Ukrainian women and children displaced by the war, per The Guardian.
This is the royal’s first visit to Poland since he visited the country in 2017 with his wife, the Princess of Wales, per the BBC.
Poland has stood resolutely with Ukraine since the start of the war and was the first NATO ally that pledged to send fighter jets to its neighbor.
Representatives for the Prince of Wales did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment sent outside regular business hours.