With the recent wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, plus the arrival of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s third baby, it has been a busy time in the British royal family lately. And now, the Commonwealth is sending the future king to Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian territories for a historic visit
Kensington Palace said that the Duke of Cambridge’s trip will take place between June 24th and June 28th and he will be in Amman and Jerash in Jordan, then Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in Israel, and Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.
Israel is celebrating 70 years of independence and, according to USA Today, has been asking the British government for years to send a high-ranking royal, thinking it would help bolster its standing in the world. This will be the first official Royal visit to Israel and the “Occupied Palestinian Territories” (that is what the British government calls them) since 1948 when Israel gained its independence after the British Mandate – Britain’s 25-year control of the region.
Israelis have seen England and the Royal Family’s refusal to visit for so long as a snub, especially since they have officially visited Saudi Arabia and Qatar, their Arab neighbors. Prince Charles and Prince Philip – William’s father and grandfather – have made private visits to Israel, but nothing official on behalf of the commonwealth.
Prince Charles attended the funerals of assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995 and President Shimon Peres in 2016. Prince Philip visited in 1994 when his late mother received an honor at Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial, for her efforts in saving a Greek Jewish family during World War II.
It is the British government’s job to make decisions about where the Royals go for official visits, not Her Majesty, and back in 2015, the Telegraph reported that it would be unlikely the Royals would show up in Jerusalem unless there was a settlement between Israel and Palestine.
But, things have now changed, and William is visiting at the request of the British government, and Palestinian, Israeli, and Jordanian authorities are all welcoming him.
“This is an historic visit, the first of its kind, and he will be welcomed here with great affection,” tweeted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“A very special guest, and a very special present for our 70th year of independence,” tweeted Israel’s president, Reuven Rivlin.
Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, also issued a welcoming statement to Prince William.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to share two photographs of Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, taken by The Duchess at Kensington Palace. This image was taken on 2nd May, on Princess Charlotte’s third Birthday. The Duke and Duchess would like to thank members of the public for their kind messages following the birth of Prince Louis, and for Princess Charlotte’s third birthday.
However, the trip’s announcement has resulted in both approving and disapproving comments on Twitter, especially after the May 14th incident where Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian demonstrators at the Israeli-Garza border resulting in the death of 60 people.
But, Prince William will not be postponing his trip. He will, however, be leaving his wife Kate Middleton behind since she just gave birth to Prince Louis and is not yet back to full royal duties. She did make an appearance at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding while on her maternity leave, but it is royal tradition that new mothers take up to six months off after giving birth.