Prince William is set to visit Israel for the first time. He arrives on the morning of June 26, when he will visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial center, Haaretz reports. The official press release notes, “You will recall that The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Stutthof concentration camp last year, as well as the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin – so this visit will be immensely poignant.”
Prince William will also meet Holocaust survivor and members of the Kindertransport, which was Jewish children in Europe who were sent to Britain to escape the Nazis between 1938 and 1940, according to Haaretz. A special guest who will be stepping off the bima and donning his chef’s hat will join the duke on his tour when British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis joins him.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin will expect Prince Williams at their official residences in Jerusalem, and then the prince will take off for Tel Aviv-Jaffa.
In Jaffa, the duke will meet with young activists seeking peaceful solutions to religious strife. The Equaliser and the Peres Center for Peace will both work with William on these goals The prince, a keen soccer fan, will witness a match hosted by the two nonprofits and “spend time with children and teenagers involved in several of their projects, including one focused on empowering young women.”
The evening will be spent at a reception at the residence of the ambassador to Israel, David Quarrey, where the prince will deliver a speech, before heading back to Jerusalem, Haaretz reports.
Look out for two mystery items on the prince’s itinerary: an event in central Tel Aviv on the afternoon of June 26, “for an event that will be announced during the visit,” and another event in Tel Aviv on the morning of June 27, “with a visit that we are really looking forward to, but will not be announcing in advance,” the press release says.
The visit moves onto Palestinian territories, where the prince will first meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at his office in Ramallah, Haaretz reports. The rest of the afternoon’s itinerary in the West Bank “will include events that focus on the issues facing refugee communities; opportunities to celebrate Palestinian culture, music and food; and a chance to meet a number of young Palestinians. Full details will be announced during the visit,” the press release says.
Prince William will give the final speech during a reception at the residence of Consul General Philip Hall in East Jerusalem that night.
Zeev Elkin, Israel’s minister of Jerusalem affairs and heritage, spoke about the planned trip to Occupied Palestinian Territories.: “The next day’s programme in the Occupied Palestinian Territories will begin with a short briefing on the history and geography of Jerusalem’s Old City from a viewing point at the Mount of Olives,” it states, adding, “From here His Royal Highness will travel a short distance to the Church of St Mary Magdalene where he will pay his respects at the tomb of his great-grandmother, Princess Alice.”
The prince will be following in the footsteps of his father, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and his grandfather, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, when he visits Princess Alice’s grave in East Jerusalem, Haaretz reports. The Greek princess was named a Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem for her efforts saving a Jewish family during World War I, according to Haaretz.