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The connections between the British royals and the Jews

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With Prince William’s historic visit to Israel this week, all eyes have been trained on the Jewish capital. It may have taken 70 years, but the first official visit by a member of the British Royal family began in Israel on Monday, when William, the Duke of Cambridge, arrived in Tel Aviv.
by JORDAN MOSHE | Jun 28, 2018

There are interesting connections between the Jewish people and Britain’s royals – some more bizarre than others.

Charles was reportedly circumcised by Rabbi Jacob Snowman in 1948, at the time the leading mohel in London, and the circumciser to the royal family. It is not clear whether his sons have been circumcised, or why it was supposedly done. However, it has been argued that this is a custom dating back to George I, who brought it over from his native Hanover.

Prince Charles’ father, Phillip, also has an important Jewish connection. His mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg was recognised in 1994 by Yad Vashem as a righteous gentile for saving a Jewish family in war-time Athens. She was buried at the Convent of Saint Mary Magdalene on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

According to lawyer and academic Alan Dershowitz, Carole, the mother of Prince William’s wife, Kate, is the daughter of Ronald and Dorothy Goldsmith, who he claims were Jews.

It’s been speculated that Princess Diana’s mother, Frances Shand Kydd was born Frances Ruth Roche, a Rothschild. If that weren’t enough, the London Daily Mail reported that Diana is actually the biological daughter of Sir James Goldsmith, also a Jew.

According to some conspiracy theorists, this is all part of a plot hatched by the Rothschild family to establish a “Rothschild royal family”, and it relies on the Queen’s and Duke of Edinburgh’s supposed belief that that is the best guarantor of their family’s future and safety.

Turning back to the 19th century, one of Queen Victoria’s favourite people, after her beloved Prince Albert, was Benjamin Disraeli. Although baptised at 12, he was widely regarded during his time as Prime Minister as a Jew, including by his anti-Semitic rival, William Gladstone.

Responding to an opponent in the House of Commons, Disraeli once said, “I am a Jew, and when the ancestors of the right honourable gentleman were brutal savages in an unknown island, mine were priests in the temple of Solomon.” Disraeli also supported a Bill to remove the requirement that MPs swear a Christian oath of allegiance, a requirement which prevented Jews from assuming office. British Jews have been allowed to sit in Parliament since the passing of the Jews Relief Act in 1858.

Throughout his life, Victoria’s son, the urbane and hedonistic Edward VII, surrounded himself with Jewish friends, and many of his numerous mistresses were also Jewish. One of his closest friends and riding partners was financier Ernest Cassel, and the anti-Semites of the time sometimes called the king’s residence outside London, Windsor Cassel.

Edward VII’s son would later receive a letter from a Jewish girl based in Israel. In 1935, when she was 12, Yehudit Ya’avetz wrote a congratulatory letter to King George V in Hebrew. She sent it from Haifa, where she had emigrated two years previously from Germany. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of his coronation, Ya’avetz thanked the king for helping the Jewish people, and wrote, “I apologise dearly that my knowledge of the English language is still insufficient to express my feelings in this language, but I hope that the lilt of the Hebrew language will intermingle in the ears of His Majesty.”

Prince Charles even has his own blue velvet kippa with a royal crest on it in silver to wear at Jewish weddings. So, whether the conspiracists are right or not, it seems that there is something of a bond between Britain’s favourite family and the Jewish people which can be celebrated.


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