Prince William is to become the first member of the British Royal Family to visit the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Kensington Palace has announced that the Duke of Cambridge will tour the region in the summer and make official stops in Israel, Jordan and Palestine.
Royal officials would not give a reason for the tour other than it came at the request of the Foreign Office.
A statement from the Palace said the visit “has been welcomed” by all three authorities, including Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Members of the Royal Family have been to the region before – but not on an official tour.
The Prince of Wales has been to Israel for two major funerals – including the funeral of the former president Shimon Peres.
He also visited the grave of his grandmother, Alice of Battenburg, in Jerusalem.
The body of Princess Alice, who is the Duke of Edinburgh’s mother, was moved to the Mount of Olives in 1988.
She was posthumously recognized by Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial as a ‘Righteous Among the Nations’ for hiding a Jewish family for 13 months during the Nazi occupation of Greece in World War II.
The trip by Prince William to the Holy Land – date yet to be announced – will be the most high profile by a British Royal.
The royal households and the Foreign Office have always been keen to avoid giving the impression that they are taking sides in the Middle East conflict.
By taking in three locations, Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian territories, officials are hoping they can make the tour a success.
The Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt said it would be an “important and unique opportunity to promote diplomatic and cultural ties in the region.”
The Duke will travel without his wife and children.