Prince Charles is more likely than ever to make a state visit to Israel and could travel there within the next three years, a Royal observer has claimed.
The Queen is seemingly destined never to visit Israel, but it is thought foundations are being laid for her heir to become the first Royal to make an official visit.
There has never been a state visit to Israel, although a small number of private trips have been made by members of the Royal Family since 1948.
Zionist Federation president Eric Moonman predicted Prince Charles could soon make a groundbreaking visit.
“There will be a chance for a senior royal to go to Israel, although it’s unlikely to be the Queen because of her diary and the prominence she gives the Commonwealth. So it falls to Prince Charles, or perhaps even Prince William and Princess Catherine,” he said.
The Foreign Office has long insisted that it does not have an official “no royal visit to Israel” policy.
But the Prince of Wales’ interest in the environment and Israel’s green successes have made him increasingly enthusiastic about a visit, Mr Moonman said.
“People who are close to him have told me he has kept abreast of countries which have made a real impression in that area.
“Prince Charles has one or two Jewish people who he trusts and these are the people, combined with the right approach and a peaceful situation in Israel, who can make it possible.”
The Duke of Edinburgh visited Israel in 1994 to re-bury his mother, Princess Alice of Greece, on the Mount of Olives. Princess Alice was honoured as a Righteous Gentile. She had opened her home in Nazi-occupied Athens to save six Jewish friends, protecting them for a year in 1943.
During his visit Prince Philip met then-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and was hosted at dinner by President Ezer Weizman. He also presented medals to Jewish and Arab youths who had taken part in a course linked to the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.
The following year Prince Charles travelled to Jerusalem to represent the Queen at Mr Rabin’s funeral.
Also in 1995, Princess Margaret made a five-hour visit to the Sea of Galilee during a break in a private trip to Jordan. In 2007, Prince Edward visited Israel to meet members of a youth programme affiliated to the DoE scheme.