With sadness we give thanks for the long life and reign of Her Majesty The Queen. One of her first charities to which she pledged her patronage after her royal accession in 1952 was the Council of Christians and Jews, founded ten years earlier in the middle of World War Two by the courageous Archbishop William Temple with Chief Rabbi Joseph H. Hertz. As Supreme Governor of the Church of England, she maintained her commitment to standing with the Jewish people throughout her 70-year reign, ensuring that Britain would not only tolerate but treasure its Jewish population.
Given Her Majesty’s public and devout faith, there can be no doubt she would have been eager to visit the Holy Land. But sadly, despite her official visits all over the Middle East, she never stepped foot in Israel, since her royal visits were determined by the Foreign Office. Nevertheless, not long after the Brexit vote of 2016, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson finally approved an invitation by President Rivlin for a royal visit to mark the centenary of the 1917 Balfour Declaration. The Queen graciously gave her support, and surely her wise diplomatic counsel, to her grandson Prince William, who carried out a very successful visit in mid-2018.
The Queen’s mother-in-law, Princess Alice, is buried on the Mount of Olives, having been recognised as ‘righteous among the nations’ for rescuing a Jewish family in Athens during the war. Prince Philip, and the Queen’s sons Charles and Edward, made unofficial visits to Israel in 1994, 1995 and 2007 respectively. But by her own choice, throughout her long life the Queen daily honoured and annually declared her personal devotion to the Jewish King, her Messiah Jesus of Nazareth. Having put her trust in the one who abolished death and became the first fruits of resurrection, we know that she will rest in peace and rise in glory when her own king returns to Jerusalem. May God save King Charles the Third.