The Duke of Cambridge continued his four day official visit to Kuwait and Oman on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office yesterday, spending the day carrying out engagements in both Middle Eastern countries.
The day began for the Duke at the Sheikh Salem Al-Ali National Guard Camp in northern Kuwait, near the country’s boarder with Iraq. William was there to watch as Exercise Desert Warrior was being carried out by soldiers. The exercise is a biannual event which sees British troops train alongside Kuwaiti troops for four weeks, in a defence and security collaboration that traces its origins back to the signing of the Treaty of Friendship in 1899 (which William’s visit is also marking).
Prince William donned safety goggles and ear defenders to view the training being carried out. He watched on as soldiers threw grenades and shot at targets, a very noisy environment but one that William would be familiar with due to his officer training at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. The purpose of the visit was for the Duke to learn more about how defence forms the cornerstone of the relationship between the UK and Kuwait.
Following the demonstration, the Royal spent some time speaking to those who had just taken part. Using a interpreter to communicate with Kuwaiti soldiers, William said: “Ask him what it’s like training in the summer when it’s 50 degrees outside”. The reply of “you melt!” had both the Duke and the soldiers in laughter.
It was then time to say goodbye to Kuwait and hello to Oman. The Duke of Cambridge arrived at Khasab Airport to kick off the second and final part of the tour; awaiting him was a guard of honour. While at the airport, William spoke with dignitaries who were there to officially welcome him to the country.
His first engagement in Oman was to visit the country’s Royal Navy at the Ras Musandam Naval Base. The future King spoke with naval officers and traveled on a military boat during the visit, which purpose was to learn more about the Navy’s role in monitoring the Strait of Hormuz maritime traffic separation scheme. At its narrowest point, the Strait is just 21 miles wide.
During the visit, the Duke also got the chance to speak with British troops undertaking flight deck operations training while on an Omani warship.
It was then on to another plane for the Prince, as he traveled to Muscat. Muscat is the capital of Oman and also where William would spend his final day on tour carrying out engagements. His arrival, although official, had a rather amusing moment when the 6ft 2″ Duke had to climb out a door that was not suited to his height! William was officially received by His Highness Sayyid Haitham bin Tariq Al Said upon arrival.
A slightly unusual arrival for #RoyalVisitOman as Prince William Duke of Cambridge landed in Muscat onboard a Hercules of the Oman Royal Flight.@ShutterstockNow @UKinOman #Royals pic.twitter.com/jJlzC003BK
— Rookie (@royalfocus1) December 3, 2019
The Duke of Cambridge arrives in Oman, at the start of his first official visit to the country // دوق كامبردج يصل إلى سلطنة عمان في أول زيارة رسمية له للبلاد.#RoyalVisitOman pic.twitter.com/fZhQwUOgjk
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) December 3, 2019
On the last day of his visit, William will no doubt be hoping for more appropriate doorways and, maybe, to also bring some of the warmer weather back with him to the UK as he says goodbye following a very successful visit.