The British royal family has been invited to visit Israel to help mark centenary commemorations of the Balfour Declaration that formally outlined the establishment of a Jewish homeland.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin extended the invitation in Jerusalem yesterday during a meeting with UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson according to the Times.
“This is a very important year in the history of the relations between Israel and the United Kingdom,” Mr Rivlin said. “We will mark 100 years since the Balfour Declaration and I am greatly honoured to extend an official invitation to the royal family to visit Israel to mark this event.”
Whitehall sources told the Times an invitation for the royal family had been under discussion for some time and “was likely to be accepted.”
If it is, it will follow a journey made by Prince Charles to Jerusalem last October to attend the funeral of former Israeli President Shimon Peres.
As Breitbart Jerusalem reported, the heir to the throne took that opportunity to visit his grandmother’s final resting place in Jerusalem, taking fresh flowers from his garden at Birkhall to lay in her honour.
Prince Charles paid his respects at the crypt of the Duke of Edinburgh’s mother, Princess Alice of Greece.
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.
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 reported.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been invited to Britain in November to represent his country in marking the centenary of the Balfour Declaration.