Yesterday, The Prince of Wales attended a service at Westminster Abbey which saw the installation of new members of the Knights Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath.
Prince Charles is the Great Master of the Order, which is an order of chivalry established by King George I on 1725. Those who receive the Order are known as ‘Knights of the Bath’; the word ‘bath’ refers to the medieval ceremony for granting knighthoods, which involved a bathing ritual to symbolise purification.
There are currently 120 Knights or Dames Grand Cross, 355 Knights or Dames Commander and 1,925 Companions. The services to install new members of the Order of the Bath have taken place since 1913 and are generally held every four years. These events also honour officers from the Armed Forces and various civil servants.
At the service, Prince Charles donned the traditional garb of the Order, which includes a majestic robe. This is the second time The Prince of Wales has attended the service; back in 2014, Charles was there on behalf of his mother after aides feared that the Westminster Abbey steps would be too high for the Sovereign if she wore the Order’s regalia.
In the evening, The Prince of Wales was at the Royal Albert Hall for ‘Platinum – Israel’s 70th Anniversary’; this event was held to celebrate the anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel. Prince Charles was sat between the UK’s Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, and the Israeli Ambassador, Mark Regev.
The concert was headlined by the group Balkan Beat Box, who performed a mixture of world music, jazz, hip-hop and ‘everything in between’. There were also performances from the Israeli band A-WA, which mixes traditional Yemenite music with hip-hop and electronica; Gili Yafo, who merges traditional Ethiopian music with contemporary lyrics; and the award-winning dance group Vertigo Dance Company who performed along with the string orchestra Revolution Orchestra.
Prince Charles visited Israel back in 2016 to represent the Royal Family at the funeral of the former Israeli President, Shimon Peres. During that trip, the heir-to-the-throne also paid a private visit to the grave of his paternal grandmother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.
The Duke of Cambridge will be the first member of the British Royal Family to make an official visit to Israel and the Palestinian Territories at the end of June.
The Duke of Edinburgh visited Israel in 1994 when his mother was recognised for her bravery as ‘Righteous Among the Nations’ at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem; Princess Alice was honoured for hiding a Jewish family during the Nazi occupation of Greece.