Sign up to our newsletter

Get the latest updates about Their Royal Highnesses including news, events and photos straight to your inbox

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess
of Cornwall

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Prince Harry

Open

News and Diary

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall

Advanced Search

Show news and diary for:

The Prince of Wales and HRH Prince Ghazi of Jordan visit Coptic and Syrian Orthodox communities

17th December 2013

The Prince of Wales arrives for a visit to a Syriac (Syrian) Orthodox Church in west London.

The Prince of Wales arrives for a visit to a Syriac (Syrian) Orthodox Church in west London.

The Prince of Wales has heard the heartbreaking stories of Syrians desperate for the international community to end the conflict in their homeland.

His Royal Highness was accompanied by Prince Ghazi of Jordan and the Bishop of London, the Right Rev Richard Chartres throughout his day.

David Yakoub, who was close to tears, put his hands together and pleaded with The Prince to help as the heir to the throne visited the London cathedral of the Syriac Orthodox Church.

The Prince listened intently as the Mr Yakoub described how his home village of Sadat, was attacked by insurgents who killed people and desecrated the settlement's church.

When he appealed to The Prince to help, saying "I ask you to do something", His Royal Highness patted him on the arm in sympathy.

Another Syrian man showed The Prince mobile phone images of the destruction in his home village.

The Prince of Wales speaks to religious leaders during during a visit to a Syriac (Syrian) Orthodox Church in west London.

The Prince of Wales speaks to religious leaders during during a visit to a Syriac (Syrian) Orthodox Church in west London.

At St. Thomas Cathedral in East Acton, west London, The Prince met other worshippers of the Syriac Orthodox Church whose followers are spread across the Middle East from southern Turkey to Syria, Jordan, and parts of India.

The Prince spent the day meeting Christians from the Middle East to learn about the problems they face.

In Stevenage at the Coptic Orthodox Church centre, he chatted to Syrian Anglican Huda Nassar, 51, Middle East director for the Awareness Foundation, which aims to improve relations between East and West.

"He said it was heartbreaking what was going on in Syria," she said.

After visiting the churches, The Prince attended an Advent reception at Clarence House to celebrate Christians from the Middle-East.


You can listen to The Prince's speech here:

A speech by The Prince of Wales at an Advent reception for Christians from the Middle East

Published on 17th December 2013

It is a particular pleasure to be able to welcome you here during this season of Advent. Although, I must say, standing here, as I am, alongside a "wise man from the East", it does perhaps feel just a little more like Epiphany than Advent at the moment!

If I may say so, I am particularly delighted that my old friend, Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad, has so kindly taken the trouble to be here this afternoon and, indeed, has spent the whole day with me visiting the Coptic and Syrian Orthodox communities in Hertfordshire and London. His Royal Highness is present today representing King Abdullah II of Jordan at His Majesty's particular request and in his rôle as Chief Adviser to King Abdullah for Religious and Cultural Affairs. His Majesty, whom I had the pleasure of seeing recently when he was in London, is, of course, noted for his many noble initiatives to support tolerance and respect for different faith communities. As well as his famous Amman Message in 2004, His Majesty this Autumn addressed the conference convened by Prince Ghazi in Jordan on the challenges facing Arab Christians. I am deeply grateful to His Majesty for his interest in this area and his support for the Christian communities in the Middle East.

Ladies and Gentlemen, as you may know, Prince Ghazi himself is not only a noted Islamic scholar as we've heard greatly to our benefit this afternoon, but, as I have just mentioned, has consistently over the years stood up for the rights of Christians around the world. Not only did he have significant involvement in the adoption by the U.N. of the World ...

Read full speech