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King Charles has asked to be kept personally updated on the deaths of three British military heroes killed in Israeli airstrike as they delivered aid in Gaza

King Charles has asked to be kept personally updated on the deaths of three British military heroes killed in Israeli airstrike as they delivered aid in Gaza

King Charles has asked to be kept personally updated on the killing of three British military heroes delivering aid in Gaza. His Majesty is taking a keen interest in developments over the deaths of former SBS hero John Chapman, 57, ex-Royal Marine James Henderson, 33, and former Rifleman James Kirby, 47.

Foreign office staff posted to the Middle East received a memo from the monarch asking that he is kept abreast as the tragic news broke on Tuesday morning.

Charles is head of the Armed Forces and Captain General of the Royal Marines, the elite commando unit in which both Mr Chapman and Mr Henderson served. Royal observers say it is no surprise he would take their deaths to heart given his attachment to both the Marines and the military.

Ingrid Seward, Editor in Chief of Majesty Magazine, said: ‘These are the actions of a caring monarch, as head of state, head of the Armed Forces and Captain General of the Royal Marines. ‘I think his mother might have done something similar in such circumstances.’

His Majesty requested that the UK diplomatic mission keep him personally updated on Tuesday morning. The King asked that they keep him in the loop throughout the week as investigations get underway into why the Israeli forces targeted the seven aid workers.

An email sent on his behalf requested an update by 4pm on Tuesday and another update later in the week. Diplomatic sources told the Mail that the communication from his office was ‘extremely polite’ and ‘apologetic for the short deadline’ – despite it being a generous time window.

Dickie Arbiter, press spokesman for Queen Elizabeth from 1998 to 2000, said that Charles was following in his mother’s footsteps. ‘As head of state, obviously he’s concerned about British citizens who are in a war zone who volunteer for humanitarian purposes,’ Mr Arbiter told the Mail.

‘They are Brits who have volunteered on humanitarian grounds and they’ve been caught in the crossfire and they’ve been unfortunately killed in a conflict that seems to be getting out of control.  ‘In the normal course of events, he’d want to be kept informed – in the same way as his mother.’

It is understood His Majesty would have received clearance from No10 before making the personal intervention and there is no suggestion he is meddling in the politics of the region. ‘He would have done it in conjunction with Rishi Sunak,’ Mr Seward insisted, adding that it shows his feel for the national mood. ‘Charles is very good at understanding what gets to people, and this has really got to people. Being a diplomat I think he genuinely does want to be kept abreast of the situation

‘He thinks it could cause all kinds of terrible damage, this situation. Nobody’s very satisfied, but he would definitely not have done this just off his own back.’

Charles has taken a personal interest in the conflict from the start, having spoken out shortly after the October 7 massacre to say he was appalled by the ‘barbaric acts of terrorism’.

But while William was criticised for overstepping the mark in February when he said ‘too many have been killed’ in Gaza, he said he was speaking from a humanitarian point of view. The King has been careful not to meddle despite being incredibly concerned.

A royal insider said: ‘King Charles is very compassionate and has been particularly entrenched in the situation in Gaza since the outset, so I’m not surprised that he has asked to be kept updated. ‘He has intervened privately before in situations in the Arab world, for example when people have been detained, and he does get involved in lots of personal issues. It’s all part of him trying to help as much as he can.

‘This probably came up in his red boxes and as head of state it’s not an unusual thing to do, the Queen would have done something similar and liaised with the Foreign Office.’

Buckingham Palace declined to comment.

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