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Aide to Prince Charles sought to avoid Israel visit

A leaked email suggests Britain’s Prince Charles sought to avoid a state-visit to Israel.

In a series of emails exchanged by members of the prince’s staff and published this week in London’s Jewish Chronicle, an aide to Charles, the heir to the British throne, expressed concern that Israel would exploit the visit to enhance its image.

“Acceptance would make it hard to avoid the many ways in which Israel would want HRH [Prince Charles] to help burnish its international image,” wrote Clive Alderton, the prince’s deputy private secretary. “In which case, let’s agree a way to lower his expectations.”

The expectations in question were those of Israel’s ambassador to London, Zvi Heifetz. The Israeli embassy had invited Alderton and Sir Michael Peat, the prince’s principal private secretary, to Israel. The trip may have paved the way for a visit to Israel by Charles himself, the first-ever state-visit by a British royal. Charles, as well as his father and brother, have both visited the Jewish state on what were considered private visits.

A spokesperson for the prince downplayed the significance of the email and affirmed Charles’ commitment to good relations with the Jewish community.

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