Who would have imagined a tree at Jerusalem’s Holocaust Memorial would honour the mother-in-law of the Queen of England? The Jerusalem Channel’s Exploits Ministry is the guardian of a tree planted by Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, at Jerusalem’s Holocaust Memorial, Yad Vashem, in honour of his mother, Princess Alice of Greece.
Princess Alice was born in Windsor Castle in 1885. Her parents were Prince Louis of Battenberg and Princess Victoria of Hesse, Queen Victoria’s granddaughter. She was married to Prince Andrew of Greece, who was of Danish descent, the grandson of King Christian IX of Denmark.
In January 1949, the princess founded the Christian Sisterhood of Martha and Mary, a nursing order of Greek Orthodox nuns. Not long before her death, Princess Alice expressed the wish to be buried in Jerusalem, next to her aunt, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Fyodorovna, who like Alice had become a nun and also had founded a convent. In 1988, 19 years after her death, Princess Alice’s coffin was transferred to the crypt in Gethsemane of the Church of Mary Magdalene on the Mt. of Olives.
In 1993, Vad Vashem bestowed the title of “Righteous Among the Nations” on Princess Alice. A year later, her children, Prince Philip and Princess Geroge of Hanover, traveled to Jerusalem to plant the tree in her honor. At the ceremony, Prince Philip said, “I suspect that it never occured to her that her action was in any way special. She was a person with deep religious faith, and she would have considered it to be a totally human action to help fellow human beings in distress.”
It is any wonder that the son of this great woman became the consort of the Queen of England?
Another Orthodox nun who lived at the convent of St. Mary Magdalene on the Mt. of Olives, Mother Barbara, was responsible for spreading the prophecy of a Russian Orthodox priest from 1900 that foretold, “In the last days, Britain will have a female monarch on the throne, and Britian shall be saved by praying women.”
“And so we must know these good people who helped Jews during the Holocaust. We must learn from them, and in gratitude and hope, we must remember them–” Elie Wiesel
“Whoever saves a single life, saves an entire universe.” (Mishnah, Sanhedrin 4:5)
“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree and will spring up like the Cedars of Lebanon.” (Psalm 92:12)
To learn how you or your organisation can support Christian Friends of Yad Vashem or become the guardian of a tree along the Avenue of the Righteous, click here.