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‘May Prince Philip’s memory be a blessing’ – Israel expresses condolences

CM 09/04/2021 1

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Israeli officials expressed their condolences after the British Royal Family announced the death of Queen Elizabeth’s husband Prince Philip, formally known as the Duke of Edinburgh, on Friday.”My deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathy to HM Queen Elizabeth II, HRH The Prince of Wales, the Royal Family and the people of the United Kingdom” tweeted Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin, adding, “May his memory be a blessing.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also expressed his “Condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, the Royal Family and the people of the United Kingdom on the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Philip was the consummate public servant and will be much missed in Israel and across the world.”

Both opposition leader and Yesh Atid Paty head Yair Lapid and Labor head Merav Michaeli were among the first of Israel’s major political figures to express support for the Royal Family, with Michaeli adding that, “Philip served the people of the United Kingdom with honour and devotion.”A Greek prince, Philip married the queen in 1947, and had been by her side throughout her 69-year reign.”His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss,” the statement by the Royal Family read.

Philip spent four weeks in hospital earlier this year for treatment for an infection to have a heart procedure, but returned to Windsor in early March. He was admitted to the King Edward VII’s Hospital on Feb. 16 after he felt unwell, to receive treatment for an unspecified, but not COVID-19-related, infection.

Princess Alice of Battenberg, the Duke’s mother, known for her long and harrowing backstory, spent her later years in Athens, practicing charity work.
In 1943, three years after returning to Greece, she sheltered Jews through the rest of the second world war. For this she was recognized by Israel’s Holocaust memorial museum Yad Vashem as “Righteous Among Nations” in 1993.
While she passed away in Buckingham Palace in 1963, her remains were transferred in 1988 from Windsor Castle to the Church of Mary Magdalene at the Russian Orthodox convent on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.In January 2020, Prince Charles arrived in Israel his first extended visit to attend the Fifth World Holocaust Forum marking 75 years since the Red Army’s liberation of Auschwitz. (Charles briefly came to Israel in 1995 for the funeral of Yitzhak Rabin, and again in 2016 for the funeral of Shimon Peres).
The visit came two years after Prince William, Charles’s father and the Duke of Edenborough’s son, visited in June 2018, 70 years after Britain quit its mandate in Palestine. With the 2018 visit, Prince William became the first member of Britain’s royal family to pay a state visit to Israel. At the time he visited the tomb of his great-grandmother Princess Alice in Jerusalem.

Reuters and Herb Keinon contributed to this report.


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