Prince William made a solo journey to Jerusalem, and on the last day of his trip, he did something that both his father and grandfather did.
Following in their footsteps, he visited the tomb of his great-grandmother, Princess Alice. After touring the Mount of Olives, the Western Wall, and other historical sites, Prince William descended into the catacomb of the Church of Mary Magdalene.
Prince William laid flowers on the tomb of Princess Alice, as well as on the tomb of another ancestor, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna. Both their stories are fascinating, according to Haaretz.
Princess Alice was the great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria. Born in 1885, she was deaf from birth but was still able to speak and function fully. After she married Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, in 1903, she bore him five children, four daughters and one son.
The son was Phillip, who would later marry Britain’s Princess Elizabeth, who is now Queen. She struggled with a mental illness in her adulthood and was subject to torturous treatments and eventually was sent to a sanatorium. Later, she became devoutly religious, and helped protect Jews during World War II.
At her gravesite, Prince William prayed with Father Archimandrite Roman and was given several gifts to him and his family, one of them a wooden cross from the 19th century.
“I think he was touched,” Father Roman said after Prince William left. “This is something that is very personal for him, I’m sure. To visit his family in such a holy place. With everything else, all the official parts of the trip, this was a half hour for some personal peace.”
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