Israeli Leaders Mourn Prince Philip, Who 'Served the U.K. With Honor and Devotion'

Politicians extended their condolences to the British royal family after the passing of Prince Philip, who Netanyahu said 'will be much missed in Israel and across the world'

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Britain's last Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth, in 2013
Britain's last Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth, in 2013Credit: Matt Dunham / Reuters
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Haaretz

Israeli politicians extended their condolences to the royal family and the United Kingdom in the wake of the demise of Prince Philip, husband of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, on Friday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his deepest condolences for a "consummate public servant," saying Prince Philip "will be much missed in Israel and across the world." 

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President Reuven Rivlin extended his "deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathy to HM Queen Elizabeth II, HRH The Prince of Wales, the @RoyalFamily and the people of the United Kingdom," and in keeping with Jewish tradition, added "May his memory be a blessing."

Opposition leader and Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid also took to Twitter to send his "deep and sincere condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Royal Family and the people of the United Kingdom on the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip."

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Labor Chairwoman Merav Michaeli also extended condolences to the royal family on behalf of her party, writing on Twitter that "Prince Philip served the people of the United Kingdom with honor and devotion."

A man lays a bunch of flowers at the front of Buckingham Palace, after the annoucement of the death of Britain's Prince Philip.Credit: Tolga Akmen / AFP

Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth's husband who helped modernize the monarchy and steer the British royal family through repeated crises during seven decades of service, died on at Windsor Castle. He was 99.

The Duke of Edinburgh, as he was officially known, had been by his wife's side throughout her 69-year reign, the longest in British history. During that time he earned a reputation for a tough, no-nonsense attitude and a propensity for occasional gaffes.

"It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh," the palace said in a statement.

In 1994, Prince Philip became the first member of the British royal family to visit Israel, when he made a private pilgrimage to the Jerusalem tomb of his mother, Princess Alice, who was honored by Israel for sheltering Jews in Nazi-occupied Greece during the Holocaust.

Princess Alice of Battenberg and Greece, who was Queen Elizabeth’s mother-in-law, is buried in a crypt in the Russian Orthodox Church of Mary Magdalene on the Mount of Olives outside Jerusalem’s walled Old City.

A devout Christian, she died in London in 1969 and had asked to be buried in Jerusalem, next to her aunt, who like Alice had become a nun and founded a convent.

In 1993, the princess was named as one of the “righteous among the nations”, the highest honour Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial bestows on non-Jews, for hiding three members of the Cohen family in her palace in Athens during World War Two.

Planting a tree at Yad Vashem in his mother’s honor in 1994, Prince Philip said: “I suspect that it never occurred to her that her action was in any way special.”

Philip's son, Prince Charles, and grandson, Prince William, have since then visited her grave site near the Garden of Gethsemane, in an area Israel captured in the 1967 war.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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