The Royal Family marked Holocaust Memorial Day this year with a moving speech from Prince Charles and a Zoom call between Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge and two Holocaust survivors. The family’s engagements have brought attention to the “brave” actions of Prince Philip’s mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, during World War Two. Karen Pollock, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, joined ITV’s Royal Rota podcast to discuss the late royal’s “incredible” contribution to saving people at risk during the conflict.
Ms Pollock told listeners: “I think the stories to point to are the ones like Princess Alice, who helped hide a Jewish family.
“In real life, as a result of that, we saw Prince William meet the great-grandson of the person that was hidden by Princess Alice.
“It was the equivalent – he’s the great-grandson of Princess Alice of Battenberg and the other man was the great-grandson of the Cohen family.
“For me, that moment was a nutshell of what this is all about.”
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She continued: “To see that this is part of all of our history.
“It’s part of Prince William’s history but also this guy that otherwise he would never have been connected with.
“Only because of what his great-grandmother did, bravely, to help save a Jewish life.
“It’s pretty incredible, and it says something about human nature.”
Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, bestowed the honorific on the royal in 1993, over 20 years after she died.
In 1994, Prince Philip and his sister, Princess George of Hanover, travelled to plant the tree in her honour.
During the ceremony, the Duke of Edinburgh said: “I suspect that it never occurred 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 fellow human beings in distress.”
While originally buried at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, her remains were escorted with honours to Jerusalem where she was interred next to her aunt, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna.