King Charles dances with Anne Frank’s stepsister

British monarch also meets group of refugees baking biscuits for Christmas hampers

King Charles III dances at the JW3 Jewish community centre in London. AP
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King Charles III on Friday danced with Anne Frank's stepsister, who survived Nazi concentration camps and has spent decades promoting peace.

Eva Schloss, 93, and the king danced together to celebrate Hanukkah at a Jewish community centre in north London.

“He was sweet, he really took part, he seemed to enjoy it,” she said. “He was very relaxed.”

King Charles toured the JW3 community centre and spoke to schoolchildren who were packing presents and food hampers for families around Camden.

Dame Vivian Duffield said she founded JW3 to give the Jewish community in London a place to gather to protect and celebrate their heritage.

Ms Schloss said: “Unfortunately, there is still anti-Semitism — people say Jewish people should go to Israel, this is England — but I hope we are getting over these prejudices.

“England is one of the rich countries in the world and we have to struggle with poverty and I hope King Charles will be able to manage this situation a little bit.

“I hope he will help make things easier for everybody and fight racism. I think he is a very good king.”

As King Charles visited the kitchen where a group of young refugees were baking biscuits for the Christmas hampers, one of the cooks fell to her knees with giddiness.

She said afterwards: “To be honest, I can't explain the feeling. To see him live, I was like, oh my God. It was a nice feeling and I'm happy I was able to meet him.”

JW3's chief executive Raymond Simonson said the king arrived with a car boot full of rice and tinned tuna to go into the donation packets.

“The volunteers came and took it out the car and packed it up. That will stay with me for a while,” he said.

“There are 200 households we support around the Camden area and they don't have enough food at Christmas and now they have food from the king as well as from our volunteers.”

Most people in the British-Jewish community, he added, come from refugee backgrounds and meeting the king is an endorsement of their place in British society.

“When you see the king visiting and saying happy Hanukkah, it says to people that the person in the highest seat accepts us,” he continued.

“It has been 365 years since we were readmitted after being expelled and to know that we are secure here and not in danger … that means so much to people.”

Updated: December 16, 2022, 6:00 PM