Kensington Palace Britain’s Prince William, the second in line to the throne, will come on an official visit to Israel on June 25 marking the first ever official visit by a member of the British royal family to the Holy Land. He will visit Jerusalem on June 26 before going on to Ramallah on June 27.
His imminent visit was first announced in March but it did not include specific dates or the places he intends to visit. On Thursday, it was announced that William, whose official title is the Duke of Cambridge, will spend a total of three days in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Ramallah. No further details were given about who he will meet or his agenda while in Israel.
His trips to Israel will come one day after a visit to Jordan.
William is the eldest son of Prince Charles and Diana, now deceased. He is the second-in-line to the throne after his father. He is married to Kate Middleton who gave birth to their third child, Prince Louis, on April 23. She is not scheduled to accompany William on his visit to Israel.
British royals have been to Israel in the past for unofficial visits. Prince Charles attended the funeral of former president Shimon Peres in 2016 and the funeral of slain prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1994 but these were not considered official royal visits and did not include diplomatic meetings. In 1994, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Charles’ father, came to Israel briefly for a ceremony commemorating his mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, who is buried on Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives. Prince Charle visited the gravesite after attending Peres’ funeral.
During World War II, Princess Alice sheltered Jews in Nazi-occupied Greece, for which she was recognized by Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Memorial, as one of the Righteous Among the Nations. She died in 1969 and her remains first lay in St George’s Chapel, Windsor. Her final wish was to be buried on the Mount of Olives, near her aunt Elizabeth, Grand Duchess of Russia, who was murdered by the Bolsheviks. Philip was advised not to go after his mother was reinterred in 1988 but visited six years later, although at the time, Buckingham Palace emphasized it was in a private capacity.
Both the Duke of Kent and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester have made official visits to Israel while the Earl of Wessex visited in 2007 on behalf of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. During his trip in 2007 the Duke of Gloucester visited the St John eye clinic in the Occupied Territories, but this was regarded as a charitable visit.