It’s official – His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales will be making his first official visit to Israel and attend events for Holocaust Memorial Day in January, Clarence House announced today.
Charles, the heir to the throne, has twice visited Jerusalem on behalf of the Queen for the funerals of President Shimon Peres in 2016 and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, but this will be the first time he has undertaken official engagements in Israel.
Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin was the person who invited the Prince, who will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau on 23 January 2020 as part of the official visit.
Both the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will attend events related to the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, joining other world leaders such as the presidents of Russia and France. Camilla will also attend a service at the former Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau on 27 January.
Next month, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will attend events to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. pic.twitter.com/IkPujFq0i2
— Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) December 18, 2019
Whilst in Israel, Prince Charles will also visit the Palestinian territories at the invitation of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Britain’s new Ambassador to Israel Neil Wigan had already joked that his tenure would be deemed a failure if he did not secure a second Royal visit, after the popularity of Prince William’s visit last year.
Reacting to the news this week, Wigan said he was “delighted” that Charles accepted Rivlin’s invitation, adding: “Prince Charles has visited Israel twice in the past, and I am pleased that this time he will get to see a bit more of Israel.”
Dr. Moshe Kantor, President of the World Holocaust Forum, said: “It is a great honour for us that Prince Charles will be attending the Fifth World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem in January,”
“Prince Charles is a figure of strong moral authority and has long been recognised as a leading voice against intolerance, hate and antisemitism.”
“That Prince Charles has chosen to attend our unprecedented conference on Holocaust remembrance and against antisemitism on his first official visit to Israel speaks volumes.”
We call upon the UK Government to officially recognise Jerusalem is Israel's capital and move its embassy to Jerusalem.