Five visits in 60yearsof the State
THERE HAVE been five visits to Israel by members of the royal family — although all of them were on a private basis.
The first was in 1994, when the Duke of Edinburgh went to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, where he planted a tree in memory of his mother, Princess Alice of Greece, who was honoured as a RighteousGentile for saving Jews during the Nazi occupation of her country. Prince Philip also met Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and was hosted at dinner by President Ezer Weizman.
He presented gold medals to Jewish and Arab youths who had taken part in a course linked to the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme and met representatives of the Israel branch of the Royal British Legion.
A year l ater, Prince Charles attended the Jerusalem funeral of Prime Minister Rabin. In the same year Princess Margaret made a lightning fivehour visit to Israel, breaking off from a private trip to Jordan.
She visited the sea of Galilee and the Vered Hagalil holiday village, where the owner had been told only to expect a British VIP. The Princess’s visit was kept a closely guarded secret a nd not e v e n the Israeli press reported it until she had returned to Jordan.
I n 1 9 9 8 t h e Queen’s cousin, the Duke of Kent (Prince Michael’s brother), visited as vice chairman of the British Overseas Trade Board. This September, Prince Edward became the first royal for almost a decade to visit, meeting members of a youth programme affiliated to the Duke of Edinburgh Award International association.
1994: Prince Philip
1995: Princess Margaret
2007: Prince Edward