Britain’s King Charles surprised Holocaust survivors at a Hanukkah reception in north London on Friday and joined a group that included Anne Frank’s step-sister on the dance floor for a round of the hora.
The visit was part of the British monarch’s tour of the JW3 community center, as the royal family seeks to stick to routine and remain silent over the second half of Prince Harry and his wife Meghan’s Netflix documentary series, which made hard-hitting claims against the royal family.
While touring JW3, the king met with a group of girls packing Christmas packages for asylum seekers, stopped by a hair and beauty course for Orthodox students and was shown the kitchen where volunteers and refugees were preparing food packages for the needy.
He was also fascinated by a krav maga self-defense class taking place down the hall, the UK Jewish News reported.
Charles then made his way to a Hannukah tea reception JW3 was holding for Holocaust survivors, who were only informed ahead of time that a surprise guest would be joining them.
The king mingled with the delighted survivors before joining several of them on the dance floor. He told one of those present that the Jewish music played during the hora reminded him of Scottish country dancing, the Jewish News said.
Among those who danced with the king was 93-year-old Eva Schloss, Anne Frank’s step-sister and a Nazi concentration camp survivor.
“He was sweet. He really took part. He seemed to enjoy it,” she told the Telegraph.
— Roya Nikkhah (@RoyaNikkhah) December 16, 2022
She then lamented antisemitism in England, and expressed hope that Charles would help improve the situation for Jews in the country.
The king was presented with a menorah bearing the inscription, “One person’s candle provides the light to many.”
Earlier Friday, Charles visited the headquarters of Community Security Trust, a charity that works to boost security for the UK’s Jewish community. There, he sat in on a self-defense training session and visited the CST’s control center.
Business as usual
The JW3 tour came after the release of the final three episodes of the Netflix series on Harry and Meghan’s bruising encounters with the British media, the royal “firm,” the family and its staff.
In three hour-long episodes released Thursday, Harry claimed his brother Prince William screamed at him during a family meeting and accused palace officials of lying to protect his elder sibling, who is now heir to the throne. Meghan talked about wanting to end her life as she struggled to cope with toxic press coverage.
Harry, a grandson of the late Queen Elizabeth II, married US actress Meghan Markle in a fairy-tale wedding at Windsor Castle in 2018. Less than two years later the couple left Britain, citing what they saw as the media’s racist treatment of Meghan and a lack of support from the palace.
Neither Buckingham Palace, which represents the king, nor William’s Kensington Palace office has commented on the series.
There were no dissenting views in the documentary, which included interviews with the couple and supportive friends and commentators.
Hours after the final episodes were released, senior royals put on a show of unity, attending a Christmas charity concert in London on Thursday evening. William, his wife Kate and their two elder children, George and Charlotte, were joined at the Westminster Abbey carol concert by King Charles III, Queen Consort Camilla and other family members.