Prince William Says He and Kate Middleton Are Concerned About the Rise of Antisemitism

the prince of wales visits the western marble arch synagogue
Prince William Visits London SynagogueWPA Pool - Getty Images

Just two days after Prince William abruptly bowed out of attending King Constantine's memorial service, citing a personal matter, the Prince of Wales was back in public today visiting the Western Marble Arch Synagogue in London. The visit was originally scheduled to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day in January, but due to Kate Middleton's abdominal surgery, it was postponed.

Upon his arrival at the synagogue, William received a bouquet of flowers for his wife. (The Princess of Wales is currently recuperating at home at Adelaide Cottage in Windsor.) His appearance comes amidst heightened speculation surrounding Kate's health, and keeping with Kensington Palace's modus operandi of late, he did not provide any updates.

the prince of wales visits the western marble arch synagogue
William receives a bouquet of flowers for Kate.WPA Pool - Getty Images

At the synagogue, William met with young people who have participated in Holocaust Educational Trust's program "Lessons from Auschwitz," and heard from students and young people who have experienced antisemitism. "Prejudice has no place in society," the Prince said during his visit. "Both Catherine and I are extremely concerned about the rise in antisemitism... That's why I'm here today to reassure you all that people do care, and people do listen, and we can't let that go."

britain royals holocaust
Prince William speaks with Renee Salt, a 94-year-old Holocaust survivor.TOBY MELVILLE - Getty Images

The Prince of Wales also spoke with Renee Salt, a Holocaust survivor. According to Kensington Palace, it was very important to the Prince that he hears directly from those who have been impacted by the rise of hatred and antisemitism.

"When [Renee Salt] was liberated nearly 80 years ago, she never could have imagined that once again, within her lifetime, there would be a global explosion of antisemitism," Karen Pollock, the Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said in a statement. "His Royal Highness' visit sends a powerful message that Britain is a country where Jews, whether Holocaust survivors who came to find sanctuary or young Jewish students – are welcome and celebrated. He reminds us that even in the darkest days, the Jewish community is not alone."

the prince of wales visits the british red cross
Prince William visits the British Red Cross, February 20, 2024.WPA Pool - Getty Images

Prince William's visit to the synagogue comes on the heels of his statement on human suffering in the Middle East, which stopped short of calling for a ceasefire but spoke about "an end to the fighting as soon as possible." He wrote, "Sometimes it is only when faced with the transparent scale of human suffering that the importance of permanent peace is brought home."

This past fall, the aftermath of Hamas's October 7 terrorist attack in Israel, the Prince and Princess of Wales released a statement, saying they were "profoundly distressed by the devastating events that have unfolded in the past days." In addition, Prince William penned a personal letter to the United Kingdom's Chief Rabbi, Sir Ephraim Mirvis, where he reflected on his 2018 trip to the region. "I was struck by how many Israelis and Palestinians wanted one and the same thing: a better future," he wrote. "I do hope though that in time, voices calling for peace, common understanding and co-existence can once again come to the fore, so that such human suffering can be consigned to the past."

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