Duke lays wreath at Israel's Holocaust memorial

Toby Graves
June 26, 2018

The prince, the first British royal to undertake an official tour to the Jewish state in its 70 year history, was at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and Museum, where he will meet an 80-year-old who was saved from the gas chambers through the Kindertransport, as well as participate in a wreath-laying ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance (right).

The Duke of Cambridge's jet touched down at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv last night following William's packed two days in Jordan.

CNN reports that William is also expected to visit Jerusalem's Old City, the Mount of Olives and the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Later Monday, he'll be the first British royal to visit the Holy Land in an official capacity.

No immediate member of the royal family has made an official visit to Israel since its establishment in 1948, nor to the Palestinian territories.

British Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt said the visit is an "important and unique opportunity to promote diplomatic and cultural ties in the region".

The following day he is scheduled to meet Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, before meeting Palestinian refugees and young people.

Kensington Palace has stressed that it is non political, as with all royal visits.

During his walk through the town, William was later greeted by a 2ft by 3ft enlargement of the now famous picture of his wife and her family.

He added: "United Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel for 3,000 years and no distortion in the tour itinerary can change that reality".

The visit comes just after Israel marked its 70th anniversary of independence and amid surges of violence along the Gaza border.

Britain captured Palestine from the Ottoman empire in 1917 during World War One and administered the territory under worldwide mandate until 1948, pulling out a day before Israel declared independence.

Prince William has toured the ruins of the Roman city of Jerash, walking in the footsteps of his wife who visited as a child when she and her family lived in Jordan. Thirty-three years, and the Roman remains of the first-century city are just as incredible, as is the fact that little toddler became an adult duchess with a British prince for a husband.

William was reportedly disappointed to miss the England v Panama game on Sunday afternoon as he was travelling to Jordan.

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