The Duke of Cambridge is to walk a personal and political tightrope during his trip to the Middle East this month, fitting visits to his great-grandmother’s grave and his wife’s childhood home around meetings with Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas.
The Duke, who will travel without his wife and children, will meet political and religious leaders during ongoing tensions in the area, in the Royal family’s first official trip to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
The five day trip will see him focus on amplifying the voices of youngsters, putting a “spotlight” on their ambitions, culture and hopes for the future, with aides saying he hopes to build a “real and enduring relationship with the people of the region”.
Beginning in Jordan, he will visit the Jerash archaeological site where a young Kate Middleton was photographed posing in the sunshine when she lived there with her family for a short time.
The visit will end with a trip to the Mount of Olives, where the Duke will visit the grave of his great-grandmother, Princess Alice. The Duke of Edinburgh has previously visited the grave, belonging to his mother, privately, as has the Prince of Wales.
The personal moments will mark moments of reflection in an otherwise busy schedule, which includes meetings with Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin and Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas.
During his visit to Ramallah in the West Bank, the Duke will attend events focusing on the “issues facing refugee communities” and providing “opportunities to celebrate Palestinian culture, music and food”, said Kensington Palace.
In Israel, he will visit the Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Centre, and will lay a wreath to commemorate the millions of Jews who died during the Second World War.
The preliminary schedule, which does not include a visit to the religious sites at Temple Mount but sees the Duke learn more about the Old City of Jerusalem from a viewing point, may be updated closer to the time for logistical and security reasons.
The visit is a major step for the Duke in his work overseas, requiring all his skills of diplomacy as he moves between hosts in Jordan, Jerusalem and Ramallah.
The Duke adviser Sir David Manning is a former British ambassador to Israel.
A Kensington Palace spokesman said: “The historic nature of this tour is of course important and the Duke considers it a great privilege to be undertaking the first ever official royal tour of Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories and to be able to help further strengthen the friendship between Jordan and the United Kingdom.
“More importantly, however, the Duke is looking forward to building a real and enduring relationship with the people of the region.
“In particular he is pleased that his programme will allow him to meet a number of people from his own generation and young Jordanians, Israelis, and Palestinians.
“His Royal Highness is looking forward to learning about their unique perspectives, but also their shared ambitions and hopes for the future.”
Kerry Moscogiuri, Amnesty International UK’s campaigns director, has said that the people of Ramallah have “endured years of discriminatory restrictions on their movement, with roadblocks, militarised checkpoints and off-limits roads”.
“This visit offers the Duke of Cambridge a unique opportunity to learn at first-hand how Israel’s half-century of military occupation has impacted families right across the Palestinian territories,” she added.
Article Source : https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/06/11/prince-williams-middle-east-tour-include-trips-family-grave/