Prince Charles to attend London event for Israel’s 70th anniversary

The British event this week at London’s Royal Albert Hall will feature music and dance performances by Israeli artists.

By: World Israel News Staff

Prince Charles will be the guest of honor at Israel’s 70th anniversary celebrations on Thursday at the Royal Albert Hall for a concert showing off the wide range of influences on Israeli music.

Israeli band Balkan Beat Box will appear at the event.

“We are looking forward to premiering our new project, together with other superb performers from Israel,” said Balkan Beat Box drummer Tamir Muscat in a statement.

Prince Charles came to Israel in 1994 for a Yad Vashem ceremony honoring his grandmother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, who saved Jews during the Holocaust by opening the doors of her Greek palace to them. In 2016, he attended the funeral of Shimon Peres.

In both cases, the British government made it clear that these were private visits. The fact that the visit was not official enabled the prince to incorporate a low-profile visit to his mother’s grave, which is located on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

Charles also attended Israel’s 50th anniversary celebrations in Britain. By doing so, he became the first senior member of the British royal family to attend a full Orthodox Jewish synagogue service.

Prince Charles slated to come in the summer

The elder son of Prince Charles, Prince William, will travel to Israel this summer in the first-ever official visit by the British royal family to the Jewish state, his residence declared in March.

It is unclear whether Prince William will visit the grave site of Princess Alice on the Mount of Olives. If he does it would mark a change in Israeli-British relations.

British royalty has avoided official visits to Israel

For the past 70 years, no British royals have paid an official visit to Israel.

In 2007, leaked emails between two senior aides to Prince Charles provided rare insight into why British royalty repeatedly refused Israel’s invitations.

In email exchanges obtained by The Jewish Chronicle between Sir Michael Peat, the prince’s principal secretary, and Clive Alderton, Peat’s deputy, it emerged that the two were concerned Israel would exploit a royal visit for political goals.

After complaining that he was being “pursued” by the then-Israeli ambassador to Britain Zvi Heifetz, Alderton wrote to his boss that “acceptance [of the Israeli invitation] would make it hard to avoid the many ways in which Israel would want HRH [PrinceCharles] to help burnish its international image.

“In which case, let’s agree on a way to lower his expectations.”

Another reason given for the 70-year delay is that coming to Israel and Palestinian-controlled areas is seen by Whitehall as a diplomatic minefield. One British government source quoted by the Telegraph said that “until there is a settlement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the Royal family can’t really go there…so much politics is caught up in the land itself that it’s best to avoid those complications altogether by not going there.”