Prince Charles praises UK Jewish charity during visit to Winchester
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Prince Charles praises UK Jewish charity during visit to Winchester

Heir to the throne pays tribute to World Jewish Relief after viewing statue of Licoricia, a 13th century Jewish moneylender killed in the city

Prince Charles meets members of the public as he arrives for a visit to Winchester to view the recently unveiled statue of Licoricia on March 3, 2022. (PA)
Prince Charles meets members of the public as he arrives for a visit to Winchester to view the recently unveiled statue of Licoricia on March 3, 2022. (PA)

The Prince of Wales has praised a charity providing relief to victims of Russian aggression during a visit to Winchester.

The heir to the throne travelled to the city on Thursday to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and to see a statue of Licoricia, a 13th century Jewish moneylender killed in the city during a period of antisemitism.

A 750-strong crowd had gathered opposite the Licoricia statue to see the prince, many waving Ukrainian flags handed out by Hampshire County Council, which also flew the besieged country’s flag from its headquarters.

In Winchester, the prince, 73, spoke to leading members of Britain’s Jewish community who helped raise money for the statue and talked about the work that World Jewish Relief, a charity he supports as patron, was doing to help humanitarian aid reach the people of Ukraine.

Charles said: “I am very proud to be patron of World Jewish Relief. They are doing wonderful things.”

Maggie Carver, chair of a trust set up to create the statue, said the idea had been to celebrate tolerance and combat the sort of prejudice that forced Jews to convert to Christianity or leave England at the end of the 13th century.

She said: “We can be very grateful nowadays that minorities do not face such intolerance.

“However, with attacks against Jews in our country at a record high and with war raging on European soil, this message is as relevant today as it was then.”

Licoricia of Winchester, a powerful and prominent moneylender, was murdered in 1277 during a period of antisemitism in the reign of Edward I that culminated in the expulsion of Jews from England in 1290.

She was close to Edward’s predecessor, Henry III, and helped fund work at Westminster Abbey and many other projects in England. The circumstances of her murder remain uncertain.

Before he left, Charles officially opened a new cultural hub, The Arc, beside the statue. It is housed in a building previously opened by his wife Camilla in 2008 as the Winchester Discovery Centre.

 

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