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Prince William starts historic tour of the Middle East

Prince William has begun a historic five-day tour of the Middle East, where he will mark the first official royal visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Kensington Palace said the “historic nature” of the tour was “important”.

The trip comes as Israel celebrates the 70th anniversary of its independence.

The Duke of Cambridge arrived in Jordan on Sunday where he met with Crown Prince Al-Hussein bin Abdullah II in Amman. The Duke later said about meeting the Crown Prince, “The welcome that The Crown Prince showed me today is one that I will always remember, and which I hope to be able to reciprocate one day in the UK.”

After visiting a technology lab in the capital, Amman, Prince William joined a garden party to mark The Queen’s birthday.

He told an audience of prominent Jordanians: “I greatly admire the resilience you in Jordan have shown in the face of the many security and humanitarian challenges that have confronted you as a result of conflicts in this region.”

“The way in which you opened your doors to hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria, not to mention your longstanding commitments to Palestinian refugees, is remarkable.”

@RoyalFamily/Twitter

He later sat down with Crown Prince Hussein and watched the England football match after successfully avoiding hearing the score throughout the day. He watched the rerun at Beit Al Urdun Palace.

The Duke and Crown Prince watching England’s match. Photo: @KensingtonRoyal/Twitter

During his visit to Israel, the Duke of Cambridge will also visit the World Holocaust Remembrance Centre and pay his respects by laying a wreath where ashes of victims of the Holocaust are buried.

His Royal Highness is also scheduled to meet the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

As the trip continues, Prince William is expected to visit Jerusalem’s Old City and the grave of Princess Alice of Greece, who was the Duke of Edinburgh’s mother, and thus William’s great-grandmother.

The Duke will also visit Ramallah in the West Bank, where he will focus on issues facing refugee communities, as well as meeting Mr Abbas.

A Kensington Palace spokesman said: “The historic nature of this tour is of course important and the duke considers it a great privilege to be undertaking the first ever official royal tour of Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and to be able to help further strengthen the friendship between Jordan and the United Kingdom.”

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