Prince William meets Israel's Eurovision winner Netta

By Mark Savage
BBC Music reporter

media captionThe pair discussed mental health issues during a walkabout in Tel Aviv

Israeli Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai says she is "overwhelmed" after the Duke Of Cambridge asked to meet her on his Middle East tour.

Prince William joined Netta on a walkabout around Tel Aviv, where they discussed mental health and diversity.

Netta won Eurovision in May with a song, called Toy, that encouraged people to celebrate their differences.

"We talked about the way I changed how people feel here in Israel, and about self-esteem," the singer told the BBC.

"And how positivity and setting a good example for people is really making a difference.

"It was amazing," the 25-year-old continued. "He's a really, really chill guy."

Netta added that she had presented the Prince with one of the "looping machines" she uses to create her songs.

"I wanted to give him a taste of my world," she said. "So I gave him this machine which allows him to loop his voice and to create music with no instruments."

The singer said she hoped it would be put to good use, and maybe even lead to a royal entry at next year's Eurovision...

"I hope so!" she laughed. "Wouldn't it be amazing? What an amazing headline."

Still, Prince William seemed unconvinced: "You want me to be a singer?" he was overheard telling Netta during their stroll.

"You haven't heard me sing - you wouldn't want that!"

Figure captionWarning: Third party content may contain adverts

Netta shot to fame after being selected to represent Israel at this year's Eurovision Song Contest.

She hadn't expected to make it to the competition, telling one reporter: "I was a struggling musician, hoping for a couple of gigs."

After being chosen, the singer resolved to make a difference.

"When I won my election, I realised I can do something really nice," she said.

"If I'd seen someone like me on primetime when I was a kid, I'd have had an easier childhood.

"So I said, 'OK, I'll do something different. I'm going to wear a short skirt and I'll do a really fun pop song with a really strong message.'"

Her positive message - paired with some quirky, chicken-based dance moves - charmed fans across the world.

She ended up winning Eurovision with 529 points, beating Cyprus into second place.

media captionNetta Barzilai, whose song Toy has racked up millions of views on YouTube, is representing Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest

Since then she has been inundated with messages of thanks and support.

"I get a lot of mail and a lot of messages about young girls and boys sticking their chins up and accepting their differences," she told the BBC.

"There is even a lesson in the curriculum about me!"

The star is currently touring Europe to celebrate her song contest victory while working on a follow-up single.

"I'm working really, really hard on my new music," she said. "I think I'm going to release something in the next couple of months."

Asked whether the new single would reinforce her message of empowerment, she said: "I don't know. I don't like to limit myself.

"I don't need a strong message in a song in order to have a strong message in my performance.

"So my next song can be about apples and bananas and it would still be powerful and strong."

The Duke of Cambridge's five-day visit to Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan began on Sunday.

After meeting Netta on Wednesday morning, he held talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.

The prince is the first royal family member to make an official visit to the Palestinian Occupied Territories.

Follow us on Facebook, on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts, or on Instagram at bbcnewsents. If you have a story suggestion email

More on this story

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.