The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took part in a powerful Holocaust Memorial Day service held at Westminster Abbey on Monday.
Prince Philip’s mother, Princess Alice (for “The Crown” fans she appeared in season 3), once hid a Jewish family at her home in Athens when Hitler invaded Greece.
During the service, Prince William read out a letter that was from a friend of “Aunt Alice,” who insisted that her story “must keep being told in her memory.”
Part of the letter read, “When the persecution of the Jews by the Germans began, Princess Alice asked to be informed about the fate of the Cohen family. Having been informed by friends and by her lady in waiting about the plight of Mrs. Cohen and her young daughter, the Princess decided to offer her hospitality to the two ladies; in fact to hide them in her home despite the danger this entailed. The Princess put a small two-room apartment on the third floor at the disposal of Mrs. Cohen and her daughter.”
Kate Middleton appeared to be holding back tears as William continued, “It was thanks to the courageous rescue of Princess Alice that the members of the Cohen family were saved.”
The letter added, “My generation, the past generation and the future generation are, and will eternally be, grateful to his great-grandmother Princess Alice for the great act of bravery, risking her own life to take in a family in need.”
Seventy-five candles were lit, six by the Duchess, to mark the 75 years since the Polish death camp was liberated. They also represented the 11 million victims who died in Nazi concentration camps.
After the ceremony, the couple met with survivors and family members of those lost, including Mala Tribich who revealed that Kate and William have started to teach Prince George, 6, about the Holocaust.
“We were talking to the children about it earlier today,” Kate told Tribich before adding, “But we have to be, you know, for a 6-year-old… the interpretation.”
William also told Sir Ben Helfgott, honorary president of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and a Holocaust survivor, “We were talking this morning about how you carry on this message for future generations. We will do our best.”