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British Royals

The Prince of Wales makes poignant visit to grandmother’s grave


U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Nelson/Released

He spent his earliest years in her company and now the Prince of Wales has paid his own tribute to the paternal grandmother he described as ”inspirational”. Prince Charles made his comments as he visited the grave of Princess Alice, mother of the Duke of Edinburgh, during his time in the Middle East

Princess Alice is buried at the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. The Prince of Wales spent time at her flower covered tomb at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Gethsemane during a poignant visit to her last resting place. He had also had a new Greek standard made for her grave to replace the one currently there which has faded with time. Alice, who was born at Windsor Castle as a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, married Prince Andrew of Greece in 1903.

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The princess, who became a nun in later life after setting up her own religious order, was recognised as ‘Righteous Among The Nations’ in 1994 for helping a Jewish family escape the Nazis during the Second World War. The title is bestowed by Israel on non-Jewish people who risked their lives during the Holocast to save Jewish people. In 2010, Alice was also named a Hero of the Holocaust by the UK Government for hiding the Cohen family during the war.

Princess Alice, who died in 1969, had asked to be buried at St. Mary Magdalene but following her passing, she was originally laid to rest at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor. Her final wish was granted in 1988 when her remains were re-interred at the Church.

Her tomb is in the Church’s crypt and Prince Charles made his way there to pay his respects. He stood before her grave, face to face with a portrait of Alice as a young woman. Speaking after his visit, Charles said that he had ”long drawn inspiration from the selfless acts” performed by Alice and he referred to her as ”my dear grandmother”.

Alice spent time with her young grandson, Charles, on her visits to England and in 1967, she moved permanently to the UK as her health failed. Her final years were spent at Buckingham Palace.

The tribute to his grandmother came as the Prince of Wales visited the Occupied Palestinian Territories during his time in the Middle East.

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Lydia is a writer, blogger and journalist. She's worked in the media for over twenty years as a broadcast reporter, producer and editor as well as feature and online writer. As well as royals and royal history, she's a news junkie and podcaster.