Prince William taking ‘last-minute flight’ to Kuwait on behalf of the King following tragic passing of country’s Emir

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Written By Maya Cantina

The Prince of Wales is reportedly taking a last-minute flight to Kuwait on behalf of his father King Charles.

The royal, 41, is said to be travelling to offer his condolences to the nation following the death of its ruling Emir – the 86-year-old Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah, who passed away earlier this week – according to the Mirror.

The outlet also says Prince William will also be joined by Foreign Secretary David Cameron.

In 2019, the father-of-three made a four-day visit to the Middle Eastern country – and Oman – to honour the historic ties between Britain and the Gulf nations.

The tour had added significance as it fell during the 120th anniversary year of the signing of the 1899 Treaty of Friendship between Kuwait and the UK.

The Prince of Wales (pictured earlier this month) is reportedly taking a last-minute flight to Kuwait on behalf of his father King Charles

News of the Emir’s death came earlier this week. Kuwait TV broke into programming with verses from the Koran just before making the announcement.

In late November, Sheikh Nawaf was rushed to hospital for an unspecified illness.

In the time since, the tiny, oil-rich nation had been waiting for news about his health.

State-run news previously reported that he travelled to the United States for unspecified medical checks in March 2021.

In a statement, David Cameron has said: ‘It was with great sorrow that I heard of the death of His Highness the Amir of Kuwait, Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah. 

‘He leaves behind a great legacy – the result of a long and distinguished career in the Interior Ministry, as Defence Minister, Crown Prince and latterly, as Amir.

‘His contribution to regional stability, his personal commitment to global development and his work to bridge gaps between nations will long be remembered. I offer my profound condolences to Kuwait and its people at this sad time.’

The health of Kuwait’s leaders remains a sensitive matter in the Middle Eastern nation bordering Iraq and Saudi Arabia, which has seen internal power struggles behind palace doors.

News of the Emir's death came earlier this week. Kuwait TV broke into programming with verses from the Koran just before making the announcement. Pictured in 2014

News of the Emir’s death came earlier this week. Kuwait TV broke into programming with verses from the Koran just before making the announcement. Pictured in 2014

Sheikh Nawaf was sworn in as emir following the 2020 death of his predecessor, the late Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah.

The breadth and depth of emotion over the loss of Sheikh Sabah, known for his diplomacy and peacemaking, was felt across the region.

Sheikh Nawaf previously served as Kuwait’s interior and defence minister but was not seen as particularly active in government outside those terms.

However, he was largely an uncontroversial choice for emir, though his advancing age led analysts to suggest his tenure would be short.

Sheikh Meshal Al Ahmad Al Jaber, now 83, is believed to be the world’s oldest crown prince. He is in line to take over as Kuwait’s ruler.

In late November, Sheikh Nawaf was rushed to hospital for an unspecified illness. In the time since, the tiny, oil-rich nation had been waiting for news about his health

In late November, Sheikh Nawaf was rushed to hospital for an unspecified illness. In the time since, the tiny, oil-rich nation had been waiting for news about his health

In 2020, King Charles - then the Prince of Wales - travelled to Kuwait to offer his condolences following the death of Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah. Pictured: Charles with Sheikh Sabah at Clarence House in 2016

In 2020, King Charles – then the Prince of Wales – travelled to Kuwait to offer his condolences following the death of Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah. Pictured: Charles with Sheikh Sabah at Clarence House in 2016

In 2019, William made a four-day visit to the Middle Eastern nation - and Oman - to honour the historic ties between Britain and the Gulf nations. Pictured laughing with Sheikh Ali al-Jarrah al-Sabah

In 2019, William made a four-day visit to the Middle Eastern nation – and Oman – to honour the historic ties between Britain and the Gulf nations. Pictured laughing with Sheikh Ali al-Jarrah al-Sabah

Kuwait, a nation home to about 4.2 million people which is slightly smaller than the US state of New Jersey, has the world’s sixth-largest known oil reserves.

It has been a staunch US ally since the 1991 Gulf War expelled the occupying Iraqi forces of Saddam Hussein.

Kuwait hosts some 13,500 American troops in the country, as well as the forward headquarters of the US Army in the Middle East.

In 2020, King Charles – then the Prince of Wales – travelled to Kuwait to offer his condolences following the death of Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah.

He had expressed sympathies on behalf of the late Queen – who was also said to be ‘saddened’ to hear of his death, adding she deeply valued his friendship with the UK, and praising the late Emir’s humanitarian work.

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