Israelis, like many people in the West, were glued to their televisions on Saturday to watch the coronation of England’s King Charles III.
Israeli media happily repeated the fact that the olive oil used to consecrate the United Kingdom’s new monarch came from the Mount of Olives, where Charles’ grandmother Princess Alice of Greece is buried, and was the produce of some of the oldest olive trees in the Holy Land.
Israelis were also proud to be represented at the coronation by President Isaac Herzog.
Michal and I are proud to be representing Israel at the coronation ceremony for King Charles III in London, alongside world leaders from across the globe and local Jewish community representatives. pic.twitter.com/QakFRX1cHi
— יצחק הרצוג Isaac Herzog (@Isaac_Herzog) May 4, 2023
ASIDE: Herzog’s grandfather, Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog, was the first Chief Rabbi of an independent Ireland and a supporter of the Irish republican movement against the British. He later made Aliyah and became Chief Rabbi of British Mandatory Palestine and then of the newborn State of Israel.
The Crown gave special consideration to both Herzog and UK Chief Rabbi Sir Ephraim Mirvis by accommodating them near Westminster Abbey so that they could walk to the coronation and not break Sabbath laws by riding in a vehicle.
Rabbi Mirvis noted that in centuries past Jews were barred from royal coronations, and now they are honored.
How times have changed…
On 3 September 1189, Richard I was crowned King in Westminster Abbey. Jews were barred from attending, but in a spirit of heartfelt goodwill, some Jewish leaders arrived bearing gifts for the new king. They were informed that Jews were not welcome,… pic.twitter.com/MkopRW8CWB
— Chief Rabbi Sir Ephraim Mirvis (@chiefrabbi) May 5, 2023
“What an extraordinary Shabbat!” Rabbi Mirvis exclaimed in a Twitter video clip. In his earlier post, the UK Chief Rabbi expressed his gratitude for Charles’ longstanding “warm relationship with British Jews.”
The Chief Rabbi reflects on an extraordinary Shabbat, and wishes the King and Queen a healthy, long and successful reign. pic.twitter.com/tZ2F0HdiDk
— Chief Rabbi Sir Ephraim Mirvis (@chiefrabbi) May 6, 2023
At the official reception following the coronation, Israel’s Ynet news portal reports that King Charles spotted Herzog and his wife and had attendants bring them to the front of the line so he could chat with the Israelis.
According to Hebrew media, Charles asked Herzog about Israel’s internal crisis over judicial reform. The president assured the king that Israel remains a “strong and vibrant democracy.”
Several other world leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron, US First Lady Jill Biden and Jordan’s King Abdullah II also inquired of Herzog regarding the situation in Israel.
Israel Today Membership
Save 18% Per Month.
Six Months Membership
Save 9% Per Month.