Prince William visits Jerash, meets students during Jordan visit

  • Britain’s Prince William visited the Roman ruins of Jerash in northern Jordan, accompanied by his host Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah
  • The two princes met children from Jordan and neighboring war-torn Syria during their visit to the site

AMMAN: Britain’s Prince William ended a two-day tour of Jordan on Monday that included a visit to the archaeological Roman city of Jerash. The visit also included meetings with young Jordanian and Syrian students.

Ziad Guneimat, head of the Jordanian Ministry of Tourism and Archaeology in Jerash, told Arab News that the visit was very successful. “The prince toured the entire facility and expressed amazement at the location and its history,” he said.

Guneimat said that the British prince was accompanied by Jordan’s Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah, who said that this was his first official visit to the important archaeological site since becoming crown prince and regent.

Prince William posed for a photo in the same location where his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, was photographed as a two-year-old when her father was director of the British Airways office in Amman.

The Duke of Cambridge told a crowd of Jordanian and internationals at a reception that his wife, who had recently given birth, was sorry she could not make the trip to Jordan.

Osama Salameh, a spokesman for the Royal Court in Amman, told Arab News that Prince William and the Jordanian crown prince spoke with Jordanian and Syrian students on the sidelines of the visit to the archaeological site.

A spokesperson for UNICEF said that Prince William met with younger Syrian refugees benefiting from UNICEF’s Makani program, which offers psychological support for Syrian refugee parents and children.

The British prince was unable to watch his country’s World Cup game live on Sunday, so the UK embassy recorded the game and he was seen watching the recorded version of Britain’s 6-1 victory over Panama along with Jordan’s crown prince.

At an event sponsored by the UK Embassy in Amman on Sunday to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s official birthday, Prince William read out a message in which the queen looked back warmly on her 1984 visit to Jordan and spoke of the country as “a staunch and long-held friend.”

“The way in which you opened your doors to hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria, not to mention your longstanding commitments to Palestinian refugees, is remarkable,” the prince told Jordanians. The event was attended by Jordanians, members of the diplomatic corps as well as the newly sworn-in Prime Minister Omar Razzaz and members of his Cabinet.

Prince William arrived in Israel on Monday for the first-ever official visit of a member of the British royal family to the tumultuous region London once ruled.

Arriving from neighboring Jordan, the Duke of Cambridge landed at Israel’s Ben-Gurion International Airport and then departed to Jerusalem, where he will stay at the elegant King David Hotel, site of the former administrative headquarters of the British mandate.

Israeli daily Haaretz reported that Prince William will be staying at the Hotel, which was the main administrative building of officials during the British Mandate from 1920-1948. The hotel was also the site of a terrorist attack by a Zionist underground organization in July 1946, which killed 91 people.

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