Prince Charles has made his first visit to his grandmother’s final resting place in Jerusalem, taking fresh flowers from his garden at Birkhall to lay in her honour.
The heir to the throne paid his respects at the crypt of the Duke of Edinburgh’s mother, Princess Alice of Greece, after flying in to attend the funeral of former Israeli president Shimon Peres.
Princess Alice is buried at the picturesque Church of St Mary Magdalene, above the Garden of Gethsemane, on the Mount of Olives. The Prince’s trip was made in secrecy and went unreported until a number of photos surfaced on social media accounts of people working with the church.
Clarence House then released its own pictures of the visit:
The Prince of Wales paid a private visit to the grave of his grandmother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, while in Israel on Friday. pic.twitter.com/QqK0hYXG4X
— Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) October 3, 2016
Prince Charles took time after the Peres funeral to slip away quietly and honour the family member. She died in 1969 and her remains lay at first in St George’s Chapel, Windsor. But Princess Alice wished to be buried at the Russian orthodox convent on the Mount of Olives, near her aunt Elizabeth, the Grand Duchess of Russia, who was murdered by the Bolsheviks and declared a Russian Orthodox saint.
Charles also placed flowers at the grave of the Grand Duchess.
According to the Jerusalem Post, the Royal family has refrained from visiting the site in the past due to its location in the eastern part of Jerusalem, to remain neutral in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Prince Philip however came to Israel in 1994 on his own to privately visit the grave. Princess Alice, who gave shelter to Jews in Nazi-occupied Athens, was recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous among the Nations, the Post reports.
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