Traffic in central Tel Aviv came to a standstill Wednesday morning when Prince William took a walk on the city’s famed Rothschild Boulevard with Israeli Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai.
Dressed casually in a lightweight summer blazer amid the soaring temperatures and humidity, the British royal and Barzilai received a tour of the area before stopping for gazoz, a carbonated soft drink, at one of the kiosks dotting the tree-lined street.
The Duke of Cambridge chatted with staff at the cafe and posed for photos, before stopping to talk to a woman holding a baby, perhaps to share stories of sleepless nights — Prince Louis, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s third child, was born in April.
Barzilai presented the British royal with a looper, a digital sound mixing tool she often incorporates in her act. The prince laughed upon receiving the gift, exclaiming, “You haven’t heard me sing! You wouldn’t want that!”
The prince also chatted with members of the public who had gathered to greet him, and accepted a bouquet of flowers from an onlooker, before returning to his motorcade and heading to the next stop on his whirlwind tour of the region.
Kensington Palace later tweeted about the meet-and-greet, using Barzilai’s trademark greeting “kapara eleichem” as a hashtag.
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) June 27, 2018
Prince William will make his way to Ramallah later Wednesday to visit the Palestinian Authority, having met with Israeli leaders on Monday and Tuesday.
William, the second in line to the British throne, is scheduled to meet PA President Mahmoud Abbas at his Muqata headquarters. He is also expected to meet with Palestinian refugees and young people, and to participate in events celebrating Palestinian culture, music and food.
On Tuesday, President Reuven Rivlin asked William to convey to Abbas a “a message of peace.”
Hosting the Duke of Cambridge in his official Jerusalem residence, Rivlin said the Palestinians need to accept that Jews have returned to their ancestral homeland and that it was about time Israelis and Palestinians end their conflict.
Prince William — the first member of the British royal family to make an official visit to Israel since the state was founded in 1948 — also expressed hope for peace in the Middle East.
On Tuesday evening, William hailed Israel as a vibrant country that “thrives on innovation, diversity, talent, and excellence,” and said ties were at an all-time high.
He also promised Britain’s support in the quest for peace between Israel and its neighbors.
“I know I share a desire with all of you, and with your neighbors, for a just and lasting peace. The United Kingdom stands with you, as we work together for a peaceful and prosperous future,” he said at an event at the home of the British ambassador in Ramat Gan.
He also held a series of private conversations at the gathering with about a dozen Israelis from all walks of life, including singers Shiri Maimon and Ivri Lider, opposition politicians Tzipi Livni and Isaac Herzog, Ben-Gurion University President Rivka Carmi, model Bar Refaeli, Channel 10 news anchor Tamar Ish Shalom, and Saul Singer, the co-author of a successful book about how Israel became known as the “Start-up Nation.”
Earlier on his visit, William on Tuesday morning toured the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem and met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In the afternoon, he visited Tel Aviv, and participated in a soccer match of Jewish and Arab youth and a beach volleyball game.
On Thursday, the duke is to tour Jerusalem’s Old City, where he is expected to visit the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and Al-Aqsa Mosque, though these visits have not been officially confirmed. He will also go to the Russian Orthodox Church of St. Mary Magdalene to visit the grave of his great-grandmother, Princess Alice.
Raphael Ahren contributed to this report.