Prince William will visit the Mount of Olives whilst on his trip to Israel later this month, it has been confirmed.
The Duke of Cambridge will open his visit to Israel with a trip to Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, before going on to meet Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Rivlin.
The second-in-line to the throne will touch down in Israel on 25 June, after arriving from Jordan.
He will view the Old City from a viewing point on the Mount of Olives and visit the Church of St. Mary Magdalene where he will pay his respects at the tomb of his great-grandmother, Princess Alice. He will go on to make visits “to understand and pay respect to the religions of the region”, potentially leaving the door open for him to go to the Old City.
The Duke will also travel to the historic city of Jaffa where he will attend football event hosted by two charities focused on co-existence between the young people of different religious and ethnic communities.
The Prince will then travel to central Tel Aviv for an event that will be announced during the visit before visiting the Beit Ha’ir Museum and will attend a tech innovation demo where he will meet four start-up companies and hear the story behind their products. The Duke will then attend a civil society reception, meeting groups of young people engaged in the fields of youth activism, social impact and the environment.
That evening The Duke will speak at a reception at the residence of the UK Ambassador to Israel before returning to Jerusalem.
Next the Duke will travel to Ramallah where he will meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and then have “opportunities to celebrate Palestinian culture, music and food; and a chance to meet a number of young Palestinians.”
That evening The Duke will give his final speech of the tour when he attends a reception at the residence of the Consul General in Jerusalem.
The Kensington Palace statement says,
“The historic nature of this tour is of course important and The Duke considers it a great privilege to be undertaking the first ever official Royal tour of Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories and to be able to help further strengthen the friendship between Jordan and the United Kingdom. More importantly, however, The Duke is looking forward to building a real and enduring relationship with the people of the region.”
“In particular he is pleased that his programme will allow him to meet a number of people from his own generation and young Jordanians, Israelis, and Palestinians. His Royal Highness is looking forward to learning about their unique perspectives, but also their shared ambitions and hopes for the future.”
It will be the first state visit to Israel by a member of the British Royal Family in the country’s 70-year history. No member of the Royal Family has made an official trip to Israel since it was established in 1948, despite a series of invitations from the Israeli government.
When the visit was first originally announced in March, Mark Regev, Israel’s ambassador to Britain, said: “Israel looks forward to welcoming His Royal Highness this summer, for what promises to be an exciting and historic visit.
Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, said: “We welcome the announcement on the arrival of Prince William to Israel. This is a historic visit, the first of its kind, and it will be greeted here with great affection.
Source: Jewish News / CUFI