Jews in the News: Royal Notes


“It’s nonsense” [Cole’s letter] said DOREEN BERGER, the chairman of the Jewish Genealogy Society. “I have been researching Kate Middleton’s ancestry since it looked like she was getting engaged to Prince William. “I’ve looked back as far as it’s possible to look back and she doesn’t have a Jewish link at all — it’s just not true. I’m 100 per cent sure.” She added that Mr. Cole was “Confused. The names — Myers and Goldsmiths — are shared by non-Jews as well as Jews. Carole Middleton’s ancestors were a coal miner and a carpenter and they were not from Jewish areas.” Ms. Berger said her research was definitive but she acknowledged that it would not prevent people clinging to the idea that Prince William had married an authentically Jewish princess. “I don’t know where it came from but it keeps coming up [Berger said]. It’s a hard rumor to stop.”'


Yes, royal princes up to and including Prince Charles were circumcised since Queen Victoria’s day (some sources say since George I, 1714-1727). Charles and his brothers’ procedures were done by a prominent British rabbi. It’s unclear if Princes Harry and William were circumcised. It’s my guess that the Palace will neither confirm nor deny whether the newborn Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge is/will be circumcised.


When Will and Kate got married in 2011, I wrote that many Brit papers were labeling SAM WALEY-COHEN the “royal matchmaker” and I guess he deserves some credit for Prince George’s existence. Waley-Cohen, now 30, is a great friend of the couple. He invited them to a 2007 party at his family’s mansion: Will and Kate, then broken-up, re-united romantically at this party.


Waley-Cohen is a top amateur steeple chase jockey and the Royals share his enthusiasm for the sport.  His (Jewish) father and paternal grandfather were knighted and his (Jewish) mother’s father is a baron. By the way, Waley-Cohen got a great seat at the couple’s wedding.


Funny sidelights: Tony Appleton, the “town crier” in 18th century costume who appeared before hospital where Prince George was born, and loudly announced the Prince’s birth, was a “crasher.” He was not sent by the Palace as the police and most news media first believed. He does work as a town crier in a suburban town and, the “Daily Mail” reports, works as a “toastmaster” at “weddings, birthdays, and bar mitzvahs.”  No doubt, for the right money, you could import him to work your kid’s “royal themed” bar mitzvah.


On July 24, Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central’s “Colbert Report,” posited the theory that William and Kate must be enormous “Seinfeld” fans. Why? Well, Colbert said, “George” could be named after the character “George Costanza.” The new prince’s first middle name, “Alexander,” could be in honor of JASON ALEXANDER, 53, who played Costanza. The prince’s second middle name, “Louis,” could be in honor of Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who played “Seinfeld” character Elaine. (Louis-Dreyfus had one Jewish grandparent [Jewish paternal grandfather] and she has said, in so many words, that she is not Jewish.)


Colbert finished up by quipping that “like Seinfeld,’ the English royal family is really about nothing. “


Cohen Drops Out


SACHA BARON COHEN, 41, has reportedly decided not to play Freddie Mercury, the late lead singer of the famous band “Queen” in a planned bio-pic about Mercury. Sources claim he had creative differences with the surviving members of the band. I think it’s a shame: there is a physical resemblance and I think Baron Cohen could have captured Mercury’s charismatic stage presence. Besides, there was something right about a Jew playing a Zoroastrian. Mercury, born Farrokh Bulsara, was born into a Zoroastrian family. Zoroastrianism is the ancient monotheistic religion of Persia and it is believed to have influenced ancient Judaism. Like Jews, most Zoroastrians are well-educated, law-abiding, and fairly prosperous. Again, like Jews, they have been the subject of persecution in Iran and elsewhere and this has had an effect on their numbers. They now number no more than 200,000 worldwide. The most famous other Zoroastrian is conductor Zubin Mehta, 77, the music director for life of the Israeli Philharmonic.



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