Why British Jews Love the Royal Family

The most important thing about a hereditary monarchy is that the line of hereditary succession should be secured. That is why the news that the Duchess of Cambridge (the future Queen) has given birth to a son has been greeted so enthusiastically here in England and throughout the British Commonwealth. Ignore the protests of republicans: As the Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations showed last year, hereditary monarchism is very much alive and well throughout the land. And there is no section of Her Majesty’s subjects more in tune with this sentiment than the Jews.

Within a few hours of the royal birth, Jewish representative groups were falling over themselves to present their loyal congratulations. We can expect rabbis of various persuasions to refer to this auspicious occasion in their Shabbat sermons. And gifts with a distinctly Jewish flavor will surely follow.

But the Anglo-Jewish infatuation with the British monarchy is of comparatively recent origin. Jews were expelled from England by King Edward I in 1290, and the landmark agreement for the Readmission of the Jews to England (1656) was only effected once Charles I had been beheaded and a republic declared under “Lord Protector” Oliver Cromwell.

It was also thanks to the Hanoverians that the custom arose of having royal sons circumcised by Jewish mohelim. I was circumcised in 1944 by the late Reverend Dr Jacob Snowman; four years later Snowman circumcised Prince Charles. (Whether the new royal prince will be similarly serviced remains to be seen, but is already the subject of much debate.)

For more go to Haaretz

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Why British Jews Love the Royal Family

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