The Duke of Cambridge has flown to Amman in Jordan for the start of his five-day visit and was met by Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II.
They will visit Fablab in Amman, an initiative set up under the Crown Prince Foundation that gives young people the training and technology they need to pursue business projects.
Prince William will also deliver a speech at a Queen’s birthday party at the British ambassador’s residence.
On Monday he will visit the Roman archaeological site at Jerash, and he will also meet Syrian refugees who have been helped by a charity supported by UNICEF.
His time in Jordan is likely to be the least sensitive part of what will be a challenging week for William as he moves on to Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories.
It will be the first official visit to those areas by a member of the British Royal Family, and follows recent violent clashes between Israelis and Palestinians around the Gaza Strip.
Talking about the aspirations for the trip, the duke’s communications secretary acknowledged the “complex challenges” in the region.
The aide added “the non-political nature of His Royal Highness’s role – in common with all royal visits overseas – allows the spotlight to be brought to bear on the people of the region: their cultures, their young people, their aspirations, and their experiences”.
The prince will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin, as well as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Asked why the government has requested that he make this visit at this specific moment, the Foreign Office told Sky News that it was something that had been discussed for a number of years and that the leaders who will be meeting the prince understand his role is not political.
Britain continues to support the international consensus for a two-state solution to end the Israeli Palestinian conflict.
Violence broke out in May after America moved its embassy to Jerusalem, despite the ongoing dispute over the city.
The UK has confirmed it has no plans to move its embassy.
Tom Tugendhat, head of the foreign affairs select committee, told Sky News that “having the Duke of Cambridge going around there isn’t about reasserting a position or claiming a place”.
“It’s about remembering who we are, it’s about remembering that we have links around the world and that the prince is almost uniquely positioned to have a much softer engagement around the world and bring people together.”
The visit will have been carefully choreographed to allow the prince to spend equal time with both Israelis and Palestinians, but it won’t stop every part of his five-day trip from being heavily scrutinised.