On June 28, the grandson of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, Prince William, on a trip to Israel, visited the tomb of his great-grandmother, buried in the Russian Orthodox Church of Mary Magdalene in Gethsemane.
Princess Alice Battenberg is the mother of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh - the wife of the British Queen Elizabeth II and grandfather of Prince William. She was born in the UK, was the great granddaughter of the British Queen Victoria. From the mother's side she was the niece of the last Russian Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna (1872-1918), the wife of Tsar Nicholas II (1868-1918) and her sister Elizabeth Feodorovna (1864-1918), the wife of Grand Duke Sergey Aleksandrovich (1857-1905). All four were honorary members of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society, Sergei Alexandrovich and Elizaveta Fedorovna, its chairmen, and died martyrically at the hands of the revolutionaries.
Princess in 1903 married the Greek Prince Andrew, in 1920, moved to Orthodoxy and was deeply religious man.
In 1908 the princess came to the Russian Empire on the occasion of the wedding of the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna and the Swedish prince Wilhelm. While in Russia, Alisa talked a lot with her aunt, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Fedorovna, who, after killing her husband, left public life and founded the Martha and Marina monastery. May 22, 1908 took part in the laying of the foundation of the Intercession Church of the monastery and Alisa Greek.
Alisa did a lot of charity work, during the Second World War she took part in the work of the Red Cross. In January 1949, she founded the sister order of the Greek Orthodox nuns Martha and Maria. The Order was similar to the one that the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Fedorovna founded in 1909, but it did not last long due to a lack of funding.
A representative of the British royal dynasty left Greece after a military coup in 1967 and died in Britain in 1969. She was buried in the church of St. George in the royal castle in Windsor, but in 1988, according to the last will of the deceased, her ashes were moved to the Russian Orthodox church of St. Mary Magdalene in Gethsemane. The reason for this desire is simple: in this church, her beloved aunt, the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, found herself in the rank of saints by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, and in 1992 the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), found her last rest. The Grand Duchess Elizabeth was killed by the Bolsheviks in 1918 near Alapaevsk, where her ashes were taken abroad and in 1921 reburied in Jerusalem in the Gethsemane church.
The Church of Mary Magdalene was built next to the Garden of Gethsemane - the site of the Christ's Prayer for the Cup - in 1888 in memory of the Russian Empress Maria Alexandrovna at the expense of her children and the forces of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society. October 1, 1888 at the consecration attended the sons of Mary Alexandrovna Grand Dukes Pavel and Sergei Alexandrovich and Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, the wife of Sergei Alexandrovich, who came from Russia to the Holy Land on pilgrimage. Over a hundred years, the historical realities have dramatically affected the fate of the Mary Magdalene temple, now it is ruled by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR).
In the Church of Mary Magdalene Prince William was met by Archimandrite Roman (Krasouski), the head of the Russian spiritual mission of the ROCOR in Jerusalem. After visiting the tomb of Princess Alice, they together admired the view of Jerusalem from the terrace of the church.
On the same day, Prince William visited the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where, accompanied by the Jerusalem Patriarch Theophilus III, representatives of the Jerusalem Patriarchate of the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, he inspected its shrines.
Jerusalem Branch of the IOPS