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'Mazal Tov!': Rivlin invites newly-engaged royal couple to honeymoon in Israel

US actress Meghan Markle and Britain's Prince Harry
Justin Tallis, Frederic J. Brown (AFP/File)
The British royal house has strict restrictions on official visits to Israel due to political sensitivities

Israel's president Reuven Rivlin offered a royal "mazal tov" to Britain's Prince Harry and his new fiancée, US actress Meghan Markle, inviting the newly-engaged couple to honeymoon in Israel.

"Mazal Tov to HRH Prince Harry & fiancé (sic) Meghan Markle. Sending our warmest regards to Her Majesty the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, all the Royal Family & the British people, from Nechama & me, & all the Israeli people," Rivlin tweeted hours after the Clarence House issued a statement announcing that the couple would be wed in the spring of 2018.

"We invite them to enjoy their honeymoon in Israel!" Rivlin added.


No member of the British royal family has made an official visit to Israel since its creation in 1948.

Prince Charles of Wales, heir to the British throne has been to Israel twice in the past in an unofficial capacity, for the funeral of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, and last year for the funeral of former President Shimon Peres.

Following the ceremony for Peres, Charles took the rare opportunity to visit the final resting place of his paternal grandmother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, at the Church of Mary Magdalene at the Mount of Olives in the eastern part of the city.

The British royal house has imposed strict restrictions on official visits to Israel due to political sensitivities surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and territorial disputes, including over east Jerusalem.

Chris Jackson (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File)

Prince Harry, 33, and 36-year-old Markle -- best known for her role in as a lawyer in the hit television show "Suits" -- became engaged in London earlier this month, Harry's office said, adding that the Prince had informed his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II, close members of the royal family and had sought the blessing of Markle's parents.

Markle's parents Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland said in a statement they were "incredibly happy" and wished the couple "a lifetime of happiness."

The couple will live at Nottingham Cottage in London's Kensington Palace, where his brother William and his wife Kate live with their two children.

William and Kate said they were "very excited for Harry and Meghan."

Harry and Meghan are believed to have met in May 2016 in Toronto, Canada, where the actress lived.

The relationship was formalized by Kensington Palace, which handles communication for Prince Harry, following speculation in the press.

Exasperated by the media frenzy, the palace released a statement attacking the "sexism" and "racism" that Meghan Markle, who is of mixed race, faced in the social media and the press.

(Staff with AFP)

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