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Britain's Princess Alice reburied in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM -- Twenty years after her death, Queen Elizabeth's mother-in-law received her dying wish and was buried in Jerusalem.

Princess Alice of Greece, the mother of Queen Elizabeth's husband, Prince Philip, was reburied Wednesday at the White Russian convent of St. Mary Magdalene in Gethsemanie, on the slopes of the Mount of Olives. She initially had been buried in a chapel adjacent to Windsor Castle.

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The princess was born Victoria Alice Elizabeth Julie Marie of Battenberg in 1885. The English branch of the German-rooted Battenbergs, who once dominated Europe's royal houses, later Anglicised its name to Mountbatten.

After the death of her husband, Prince Andrew of Greece, Alice became a Greek Orthodox nun and created the Order of Christian Sisterhood of Martha and Mary in 1949.

She died at Buckingham Palace at age 84 on Dec. 5, 1969.

Since then, she has been buried at St. George's Chapel in Windsor, Burke's Peerage said. Her dying wish had been to be buried next to her cousin, Russian Grand Dutchess Elizabeth Feodrovna, the sister of the Czarina Alexandra, the Jerusalem Post reported Thursday.

Elizabeth was killed by Bolsheviks during the 1917 Russian Revolution and her body was found in a salt mine in Siberia by White Russian troops. She was brought to Jerusalem for burial and was made a saint in the White Russian Church, the ecclesiastical home to the country's nobility.

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Alice's request to be buried in Jerusalem was complicated by the aftermath of the 1967 Middle East War and because she was Greek Orthodox, whereas the church and her cousin were Russian Orthodox.

The Post said the Greek Orthodox Church acknowledged a year ago that it had raised the subject of Alice's burial with the Church of England, which supervises the burials of royal family members in Britain.

In an apparent compromise between the two churches, memorial services were held Wednesday in both Greek and Russian Orthodox churches before her reburial.

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