Prince William has made his first public statement after ‘Megxit’ to pay tribute to a well respected ruler who had an “unwavering commitment to improve the lives of his people”.
The Duke of Cambridge had an emotional message for His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said after his passing earlier in the week.
In a statement released by Kensington Palace this evening, Prince William said he was “truly honoured” to spend time with the ruler during his visit to Oman last month.
It read: “It was clear from all those I met that he will be remembered with great affection.”
He added: “His Majesty was unwavering in his commitment to improve the lives of his people, and in his resolve to work towards regional stability.
“I am thankful for His Majesty’s many years of friendship with my family and the UK.
“I offer my heartfelt condolences to the Omani people, and wish to send a personal message of friendship as Oman mourns the death of His Majesty.”
This is first public statement from Prince William since it was announced that Prince Harry and Meghan would be “stepping back” from their roles as senior member of the Royal Family.
The Sultan will be succeeded by his cousin and culture minister Haitham bin Tariq.
The Queen has also paid tribute. She described His Majesty as a “good friend” to her family and the country and her state visit to Oman in 2010 “remains a cherished memory”.
She added: “His devotion to Oman, to its development and to the care of his people was an inspiration. He will be remembered for his wise leadership and his commitment to peace and understanding between nations and between faiths”
The reclusive leader died at the age of 79 following a five-year battle with colon cancer.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “deeply saddened” by Quaboo’s death, describing him as an “exceptionally wise and respected leader who will be missed enormously”.
“He will be remembered for his devotion to the development of Oman into a stable and prosperous nation, and as the father of the nation who sought to improve the lives of the Omani people,” he added.
“The UK is a proud friend and enduring partner of Oman, and our thoughts and prayers are with the Omani people.”