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Prince William Says He’s Clinging to Hope of ‘Brighter Future’ in Middle East as He Visits British Red Cross



A Kensington Palace spokesperson tells PEOPLE that Prince William has followed the region closely since his visit in 2018 when he traveled to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, meeting with then-President Reuven Rivlin and the Palestinian leader President Mahmoud Abbas. Taking in a four-day tour in June 2018, the royal stopped in Tel Aviv, Ramallah and Jerusalem, making him the first British Royal to make an official visit to Israel. While he made a previous statement in October, the extent of human suffering led him to make the statement today.

Prince William, The Prince of Wales, is guided by chair Liz Padmore, centre, and Beatrice Butsana-Sita, British Red Cross CEO, as he visits the British Red Cross at British Red Cross HQ
Prince William visits British Red Cross on Feb. 20, 2024. KIN CHEUNG – WPA POOL/GETTY IMAGES
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As he moves ahead with more engagements to show his solidarity with those caught up in the human suffering in the region, Prince William is also planning to join a conversation at a synagogue with young people from a wide range of communities who are advocates against hatred and antisemitism.

Soon after he arrived at the Red Cross headquarters, Prince William was shown how the internationally renowned organization is working with the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, including Magen David Adom in Israel and the Palestine Red Crescent Society, to provide humanitarian aid.

He also met members of the charity’s psycho-social team, who provide mental health support to those who are enduring trauma and suffering around the world.

During the engagement, Prince William also said he was “deeply moved as a father.” He and his wife, Kate Middleton, have three children: Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5.

Prince William, The Prince of Wales, talks to employees as he visits the British Red Cross at British Red Cross HQ
Prince William visits the British Red Cross on Feb. 20, 2024. KIN CHEUNG – WPA POOL/GETTY IMAGES
Soon after the Oct. 7 surprise attacks by Hamas militants, which set off the conflict between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza, Prince William, Princess Kate and King Charles expressed their sorrow and solidarity with those families caught up in the violence.

On Tuesday, Kensington Palace reiterated that support, saying Prince William and Princess Kate, 42, “were profoundly concerned by events that unfolded in late 2023 and continue to hold all the victims, their families and friends in their hearts and minds. Their Royal Highnesses continue to share in the hope of a better future for all those affected.”

King Charles, Prince William and Kate Middleton Condemn Hamas Attack and Share Support for Israel
Prince William, The Prince of Wales, and chair Liz Padmore listen as he visits the British Red Cross at its at British Red Cross HQ
Prince William visits British Red Cross on Feb. 20, 2024. KIN CHEUNG – WPA POOL/GETTY IMAGES
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Prince William is returning to royal duties after taking several weeks out of the public eye in January following Princess Kate’s abdominal surgery. Shortly after news of Kate’s surgery surfaced, it was also revealed that King Charles, 75, was diagnosed with cancer.

A royal source recently told PEOPLE exclusively that it’s up to the Prince of Wales (along with Queen Camilla) to be the face of the monarchy with two senior members unable to perform public duties.

“It is hard with Kate being ill as well, but he will step up,” said a source close to the royal household.

Prince William, Prince of Wales reacts during a visit to the British Red Cross’ headquarters in London
Prince William visits the British Red Cross on Feb. 20, 2024. KIN CHEUNG/POOL/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
Although Prince William may undertake some duties on behalf of his father, there are currently no plans to appoint Counsellors of State to act on King Charles’ behalf. In times of need, the British sovereign can call on these members of the royal family to help manage the monarchy by acting on their behalf through the Letters Patent in the event of temporary incapacity or absence from the U.K.

“He wouldn’t want to put that pressure on William,” said the source. “He has always wanted to save his children from having that pressure too early and that will remain. Particularly as William has other priorities [with Kate].”

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