For Prince William’s Israel Visit to Mean Anything, There’s One Thing He Must Do

editor Thursday 8 March 2018 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share by email Printer friendly

By Liel Leibovitz.. The royal family has always snubbed Israel. If its younger generation wants to change that, one order of business is due. When news broke of Prince William’s upcoming official visit to Israel, I was tempted to treat the news as I do all other dispatches concerning the royal family: By rolling my eyes, sighing softly, and wondering why these waxen wallydrags still managed to interest anyone but their unfortunate subjects. But the facts, as they so often do, began to chafe, and a rethinking of my position was in order. [Photo top right: Prince William, Duke of Camebridge | Credit Wikiedia Commons].  Even if, like me, you see the Windsors as a slightly less elegant version of the Kardashians, the visit is still one you should contemplate, as it is, incredibly, the first official one.

In a maddening and wonderful essay on the subject, the British historian Andrew Roberts explained that “although Her Majesty the Queen has made over 250 official overseas visits to 129 different countries during her reign, neither she nor one single member of the British royal family has ever yet been to Israel on an official visit.” And it’s not that the elderly monarch doesn’t travel much: She’s been, Roberts helpfully recounts, to “Libya, Iran, Sudan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Jordan and Turkey. So it can’t have been that she wasn’t in the area.”

And yet the region’s lone democracy and the Crown’s former charge was never graced with the royal touch. Even when Prince Phillip asked to visit his mother’s grave in Jerusalem, he was denied permission to do so until 1994, and even then was forced to go on a private, not an official, visit. Read the full story.

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