Prince William (pictured at the Royal Foundation Forum in London yesterday) has never been to the region before and will be going without Kate, who is due to give birth to her third child in April
Prince William will be the first senior British royal to make an official visit to the Palestinian Territories in a historic trip planned for this summer, it was announced today,
The Duke of Cambridge will visit Israel, Jordan and the Occupied Palestinian Territories in the summer, Kensington Palace stated.this morning.
The Duke of Cambridge has never been to the region before and will be going without Kate, who is due to give birth to her third child in April.
He will become the first senior royal to visit the Palestinian territories.
The Palace has yet to announced exactly where he will visit, although it is expected to be somewhere in the West Bank as the Foreign Office advises against all travel to Gaza.
The royal tour this summer will be the most sensitive the Duke – who is now a full-time royal – has ever undertaken.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin posted on Twitter that the arrival of William on the country’s 70th anniversary of independence was a ‘very special present’.
Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt stated.it was an ‘important and unique opportunity to promote diplomatic and cultural ties in the region’.
The Queen’s cousin, the Duke of Gloucester, visited the St John eye clinic in the Occupied Palestinian Territories in 2007, but this was not considered an official visit, a Kensington Palace spokesman said.
William will also be the most high-profile British royal to make an official tour to Israel.
The Prince of Wales attended the funerals of both former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and former president Shimon Peres, but at the time the visits were not considered part of an official tour.
The royal tour this summer will be the most sensitive the Duke – who is now a full-time royal – has ever undertaken. He is pictured far right at the Royal Foundation Forum in London yesterday. He is next to, from left, Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and Kate
Prince William (far right at the Royal Foundation Forum in London yesterday) has never been to the region before and will be going without Kate, who is due to give birth to her third child in April
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet with panelists and beneficiaries as they attend the first annual Royal Foundation Forum in London yesterday
After Mr Peres’s funeral in 2016, Charles made a poignant visit to see his grandmother’s final resting place for the first time.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s mother, Princess Alice of Greece, is buried at the picturesque Church of St Mary Magdalene, above the Garden of Gethsemane, on the Mount of Olives.
The princess died in 1969 and her remains first lay in St George’s Chapel, Windsor.
But her final wish was to be buried at the Russian orthodox convent on the Mount of Olives, near her aunt Elizabeth, the Grand Duchess of Russia, who was murdered by the Bolsheviks and declared a Russian Orthodox saint.
Philip visited his mother’s grave in 1994 when he travelled to Israel for a ceremony honouring her for saving Greek Jews during the Second World War.
The Duke of Gloucester made an official visit to Jerusalem in 2007 and the Duke of Kent to Tel Aviv in 1998, the palace said.
As stated by the Court Circular, the Earl of Wess3x also carried out engagement in Jerusalem in 2007 – including visiting the Monastery of Saint Mary Magdalene on the Mount of Olives.
Simon Johnson, chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, welcomed William’s visit.
‘There can be few better ways to mark the 70th Yom Ha’atzmaut than the announcement the HRH the Duke of Cambridge is to visit Israel,’ he said.
‘I am personally thrilled and delighted.’
The last royal visit to Jordan was by the Prince of Wales, who is seen here on the second day of his tour on February 8, 2015
Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt welcomed the visit today and called it an ‘important and unique opportunity’ for diplomacy in the region