President Reuven Rivlin and First Lady Nechama Rivlin on Monday sent a dress and a brooch to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, to celebrate the birth of Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana over the weekend.
The pink dress bears the words “From Israel with love,” while the brooch features the hamsa symbol — a sign of protection — according to a statement from Rivlin’s office.
“On behalf of ourselves and of the citizens of the State of Israel, please allow us to offer our congratulations and good wishes on the birth of Your Majesty’s great-granddaughter, the new baby princess, to you and all the members of the Royal Family,” the Rivlins wrote.
“We would also like, through your good offices, to convey a warm message of congratulations and good wishes to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the birth of their daughter, sister to Prince George, and to wish them much joy, health, and happiness.”
The dress was made by designer Sharona Barzilai of the children’s boutique MiniMe.
“For me, this closes a circle as I learned to be a dressmaker in London, and I am delighted that my design has been sent as a present to the new princess,” she said.
As the sound of gun salutes and bells pealing rang out over London on Monday, Prince William and his wife, Kate, announced that their new baby princess will be called Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.
The dress may be the princess’s first Israeli piece of clothing, but — given her mother’s taste for Hasidic-inspired garb — may not be the last.
Katherine Hooker, Kate’s favorite designer when she was still known as a Middleton, told New York magazine in 2013 that she had been basing several of Middleton’s slim, close-fitting wool coats on a black silk frock coat that she bought years ago in an Israeli secondhand store.
“I bought a young boy’s Hasidic coat in a junk shop,” Hooker said. “And it was an old one, like when clothes used to be made for people as opposed to mass market. I was 18 and tiny and skinny, and it fit me absolutely perfectly; it was made for a 14-year-old boy or something.”
Britain had been on tenterhooks waiting to discover what names the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would give their little princess, who was born on Saturday and is fourth in line to the throne.
Charlotte and Alice were among the favorites. Had they chosen Alice, the name would have had particular resonance for the Jewish people: The newborn’s great-great-grandmother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, is buried in Jerusalem, and was recognized by Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial as a “Righteous Among the Nations” and by the British government as a “Hero of the Holocaust.”
During the Nazi occupation of Greece, Alice hid a Jewish woman and two of her children from the Nazis.
In 1994, the newborn’s great-grandfather, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband Prince Philip, visited Israel for a ceremony to mark his mother’s valor.
Instead, the names are being interpreted as a tribute to William’s parents and Queen Elizabeth II.
Charlotte had been the bookmakers’ late favorite and will be seen as a tribute to William’s father, Prince Charles, being the feminine form of the name of the heir to the throne.
Great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth II has yet to meet the latest addition to the royal family, but the first middle name is a clear link to the sovereign.
She has been on the throne since 1952 and is set to become Britain’s longest-reigning monarch on September 9, overtaking Queen Victoria.
Many royal watchers hoped the baby would carry the name Diana after William’s late mother, whose death at the age of 36 in a car crash in Paris in 1997 prompted a global outpouring of grief.