By Christine Darg
Princess Alice is honoured at Israel’s Holocaust Museum as a “Righteous Gentile” for hiding Jews, a Cohen family, in Greece during WW2. It was extremely providential that Princess Alice specified that she wished to be buried on the Mt. of Olives, for that prophetic request gives the heirs to the British throne an indelible reminder and connection to the Land of the Bible. When visiting the grave of his great grandmother in the Church of Mary Magdalene on the Mt. of Olives, William was accompanied by Orthodox Christians. Princess Alice had also distinguished herself by founding a nursing order of Greek Orthodox nuns.
Princess Alice died at Buckingham Palace on 5 December 1969. She left no possessions, having given everything away. Initially, she was buried in the Royal Crypt in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, but before she died, she had expressed a desire to be buried at the Convent of Saint Mary Magdalene in Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem (near her aunt Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, a Russian Orthodox saint). When her daughter, Princess George of Hanover, complained that it would be too far away for them to visit her grave, Princess Andrew jested, “Nonsense, there’s a perfectly good bus service!” Her wish was realized on 3 August 1988 when her remains were transferred to her final resting place in a crypt below the church.
On 31 October 1994 Princess Andrew’s two surviving children, the Duke of Edinburgh and Princess George of Hanover, visited Yad Vashem (the Holocaust Memorial) on an unofficial trip to Jerusalem to witness a ceremony honouring her as “Righteous Among the Nations” for having hidden the Cohens in her house in Athens during the Second World War.
“I suspect that it never occurred to her that her action was in any way special. She was a person with a deep religious faith, and she would have considered it to be a perfectly natural human reaction to fellow beings in distress.”
In 2010, Princess Alice was posthumously named a Hero of the Holocaust by the British Government.
We pray for William’s royal journey to be a deeply profound and life-transforming experience for him personally. I don’t think he will be the same after this trip! May the God of Israel bless him and connect him deeply with the true Prince of Peace.