The Duke of Cambridge hopes for lasting peace in the region
Prince William visited Yad Vashem on June 26. It was a somber visit to the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, the site where memories of six million Jews slaughtered by Nazis were kept. It was the maiden visit of any British Royal Family member in an official capacity.
The 36-year-old Prince laid a wreath inside the Hall of Remembrance before meeting two survivors. The two were among the once many Jewish children moved to the United Kingdom from then Nazi Germany. The translocation was a component of the Kindertransport rescue effort executed shortly before the start World War II. The prince was overwhelmed by what he saw and described the visit as "terrifying," acknowledging he is trying to understand the scale of the atrocities. The traditional Jewish headgear, kippah, was seen on his head as a mark of respect when he laid the wreath in the Hall of Remembrance. Inside the Hall of Names, he read the intimate details of those who perished. The Hall of Names honors those who died namelessly. The available names can be read on the Pages of Testimony, which functions as tombstones.
Prince William, a father himself, spent about 90 minutes in Yad Vashem. The site is his first stop on his historic Israel tour. The royal then went to spend time with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, and Sara Netanyahu, the wife of the Israeli PM, before meeting Reuven Rivlin, the Israeli President. The royal will also visit the disputed territories.
There was a faux pas when Reuven Rivlin, the President of Israel, requested the heir to the throne to tell Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Territories, that it is now the ideal time to solve problems between two countries. Incidentally, Prince William, officially known as Duke of Cambridge, was the first UK Royal to visit Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories. The Prince understood the significance, alluding to it in his speech at the reception held in the British Embassy's garden. The Duke mentioned a dire need of reconciliation and hope. He said he desired to have a lasting peace in the region.
Welcome to Israel HRH Prince William!
The #DukeofCambridge's 3-day stay – the first official visit by a member of the royal family since Israel was founded – will celebrate the strong bilateral ties between London and Jerusalem.?? ???? ?? #RoyalVisit pic.twitter.com/DHlVZKtSXr
— Aviva Klompas (@AvivaKlompas) June 25, 2018
Prince William's visit comes many years after Prince Philip, his grandfather, visited the predominantly Jewish nation in 1994 for a specific Yad Vashem ceremony where Princess Alice, Philip's mother was honored. Princess Alice, who held titular rights of Battenberg, saved many Jews when she opened the palace doors in Greece.