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Royals fly to Israel to honour late President Shimon Peres at funeral service

Former Israeli President Shimon Peres died on 28 September at the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer Hospital in Ramat Gan, Israel, after suffering a stroke two weeks ago. The Nobel Peace Prize winner was 93-years-old. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 alongside Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and President of the Palestinian National Authority, Yasser Arafat for their work which led to the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993. Peres served as the 9th President of Israel from 2007-2014 and Prime Minister in 1977, 1984-1986, and 1995-1996.

World leaders and royals flew to Israel to honour the late president at his funeral service on Friday, 30 September in Jerusalem. The service was held at Mount Herzl, and he was laid to rest in the Great Leaders of the Nation section in between two former Israeli Prime Ministers: Yitzhak Rabin and  Yitzhak Shamir.

Royals that attended the service were the Prince of Wales, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, and King Felipe VI of Spain. All three men wore traditional yarmulkes for the funeral, where they were in the company of French President François Hollande, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, United States President Barack Obama, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Former U.S. President Clinton spoke, as did President Obama. Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “Shimon lived a life of purpose. We find hope in his legacy- as does the world.” The funeral also made history with the attendance of both Palestinian and Israeli leaders. President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu shared a rare handshake before the service with CNN saying it was “a moment of reconciliation” for the two leaders.

Her Majesty, The Queen released a statement after the announcement of the former president’s passing saying, “Her Majesty warmly recalls her meeting with Mr Peres in 2008, and sends her heartfelt condolences to his family and the people of Israel at this sad time.”

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark said, in part, “I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former President Shimon Peres. He will be remembered as a founding father of the State of Israel…I would like to pass my heartfelt condolences to the family of Shimon Peres and the people of Israel.”

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden said, “I have learned with profound regret and sadness of the demise of former President Mr Shimon Peres. I extend my sincere condolences to you and to the Israeli people.”

King Harald V of Norway sent his condolences, in part, by saying, “On behalf of myself and the people of Norway, I extend my condolences to you, and would ask you to convey my condolences and deepest sympathy to his family in their bereavement, and to the people of Israel.”

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