Prince Charles has attended a concert and ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall in London to mark the 70th anniversary of Israel.
The event in Kensington, entitled ‘Platinum – Celebrating Israel at 70’, is described as a ‘breathtaking evening of live music, dance and art’.
Jonathan Arkush, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, tweeted to say spectators were in the ‘distinguished company’ of the Prince of Wales who was seen speaking to guests.
He was also pictured sitting alongside Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis at the three-hour event this evening.
The Prince of Wales speaks with guests as he attends an event at the Royal Albert Hall in London to mark 70 years since Israel’s independence
Prince Charles attends the event in Kensington this evening, entitled ‘Platinum Israel at 70’
The foundation of the state of Israel in 1948
Britain published the Balfour Declaration in 1917 which called for ‘the establishment on Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people’.
In 1922, Palestine came under British mandate, but a national uprising by Palestinians known as ‘The Great Revolt’ put pressure on the British rule.
Israel formally declared its independence on May 14, 1948, after the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution dividing Palestine into Jewish and Arab states. Arab nations immediately declared war.
David Ben-Gurion read out Israel’s declaration of independence in a Tel Aviv ceremony which established the new state, of which he was the first prime minister.
Jewish leaders were called to meet at a Tel Aviv art museum, considered a politically and religiously neutral venue, on May 14, 1948.
At dawn that day, British High Commissioner Alan Cunningham had for the last time reviewed the guard of honour in Jerusalem.
At 4pm, in front of a solemnly silent gathering, Ben-Gurion pulled out a roll of parchment: the declaration of independence.
‘The Land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped…,’ he read aloud.
‘After being forcibly exiled from their land, the people … never ceased to pray and hope for their return to it and for the restoration in it of their political freedom.’
‘Accordingly we … here assembled on the day of the termination of the British mandate … hereby declare the establishment of a Jewish state to be known as the state of Israel.’
Tory MP and Cabinet Office minister David Lidington spoke in Hebrew to say the UK was ‘proud to stand side by side with Israel’, event organisers tweeted.
The sold-out performance, which had tickets starting at £15, is headlined by the group Balkan Beat Box with a ‘signature mix of world music, jazz, electronica, hip hop and everything in between’.
Israel’s ambassador to the UK, Mark Regev, also attended tonight’s event.
It comes at a tense time in the Middle East after Donald Trump’s decision to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
The move infuriated Palestinians and intensified protests on the Gaza border, with 60 killed in clashes with Israeli forces that day.
The embassy inauguration – which took place on the 70th anniversary itself – followed Trump’s December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Prince William is also set to visit Israel, Jordan and the Occupied Palestinian Territories this summer, Kensington Palace announced in March.
The prince will begin his June 24-28 trip in Amman, Jordan, then travel to Jerash in Jordan; Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in Israel; and Ramallah in the West Bank.
No British royal has ever made an official visit to Israel, whose occupation of the Palestinian territories is considered illegal by the UK.
This is also the first official royal visit to the Palestinian territories. It comes at the British government’s request.
Charles visited Israel in 2016, representing the Royal Family at the funeral of former Israeli president and prime minister Shimon Peres.
For the 50th anniversary in 1998 Charles attended a service at the United Synagogue in St John’s Wood, London, with then-chief rabbi Jonathan Sacks.
Charles greets guests ahead of the performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London this evening
Britain’s Prince Charles speaks to dignitaries as he attends ‘Platinum Israel at 70’, the Jewish community’s celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel
Charles laughs with guests at the event to mark 70 years since the foundation of Israel
Charles visited Israel in 2016, representing the Royal Family at the funeral of former Israeli president and prime minister Shimon Peres
For the 50th anniversary in 1998 Charles attended a service at the United Synagogue in St John’s Wood, London
Prince Charles dons his full regalia as he attends the traditional Order of the Bath service at Westminster Abbey
Prince Charles was dressed in all his regalia as he attended the Order of the Bath service at Westminster Abbey.
The Prince of Wales, 69, looked in high spirits as he arrived in a pink robe and military uniform ahead of the ceremony.
The Order of the Bath service, held every four years, honours officers of the Armed Services, as well as a small number of civil servants.
Charles’s appearance today comes amid a busy week of engagementd, following the royal wedding on Saturday.
Prince Charles was dressed in all his regalia as he attended the Order of the Bath service at Westminster Abbey
Charles arrived in a pink robe and uniform, accompanied by the Dean of Westminster Abbey
The Prince of Wales was attending the service today in his role as Great Master of the Honourable Order of the Bath.
During the ceremony, the installation of Knights Grand Cross of the Order took place.
Charles had stepped in for the Queen at the Order of the Bath Service back in 2014, after aides feared that the steps at the Abbey were ‘too steep’ for her while dressed in full regalia.
The Prince of Wales looked to be in a cheerful mood as he arrived at Wesminster Abbey this morning.
Charles was attending the service today in his role as Great Master of the Honourable Order of the Bath
The Order of the Bath service honours officers of the Armed Services, as well as a small number of civil servants
Charles looked to be in a cheerful mood as he arrived at the Abbey this morning
It comes after he attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace to celebrate his upcoming 70th birthday on Tuesday, where the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex made their first official appearance as a married couple.
Charles had stepped in at the last minute to walk Meghan down the aisle of St George’s Chapel on Saturday, after the bride’s father Thomas Markle suddenly pulled out of the wedding.
The Duchess of Cornwall yesterday admitted that the family was left wondering ‘what would happen next’ amid the family drama ahead of the wedding.
Charles’s appearance today comes amid a busy week of engagement, following the royal wedding on Saturday
The Prince of Wales was greeted by the Dean of Westminster Abbey as he arrived
The Order of Bath service, held every four years, is known for its pomp and ceremony
The Dean of Westminster Abbey, Reverend John Hall, was presiding over the ceremony today