Since its founding the Jewish state has never received an official visit from a member of the House of Windsor, although some have come to Israel in a private capacity. Recently, however, Britain announced that Prince William, the eldest grandson of the queen, will make an official trip to Israel later this year. Elliott Abrams speculates as to what caused this change in policy:
There are various theories. One is that Prince Charles was the wrong royal to send, and time had to pass until someone in the next generation came along. Another theory is that the Foreign Office, [which coordinates such visits], simply could no longer maintain its claim that a visit would sour relations with the Arab states when those states are improving their own relations with Israel. Finally, it has been argued that the Foreign Office and royal refusal (and it is not clear whether the “no” over the years came from the bureaucrats or the royals, or both) was based on Zionist violence against British colonial administrators in the pre-1948 years of the Palestinian mandate. That obstacle would seem very odd when the queen in 2012 was willing to shake the hand of Martin McGuinness, who had been a very senior IRA commander in 1979 when the IRA killed Lord Mountbatten, to whom she was close and who was Prince Philip’s uncle. . . .
[The visit] is very much in line with President Trump’s move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, acknowledging that it has the right every other nation has to choose its capital city, and the American effort at the United Nations system to stop the unfair and unequal treatment of Israel. Seventy years is a long time to wait for normal treatment, and of course Israel is far from achieving it even now. But these steps are symbolic of real progress.
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