Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Meeting of the Monarchs

The long awaited visit from Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh is upon us, marking another step in the positive and longstanding relationship between Oman and the UK. The city is looking pretty slick since the preparations for the National Day and I've been marvelling at the pretty lights and flower displays. Included in the itinerary is the Royal Cavalry Show (unfortunately not open to the public, but I'm assuming will be aired on Oman TV) in which a few students from the British School have been invited to take part. Information surrounding the visit is on the British Embassy's website, ukinoman.fco.gov.uk/en (including an article mentioning the buzz the visit has caused on the Oman blogging scene).

I'm wondering what the meeting will be like, the two monarch's have such different roles in their respective countries. Whilst Queen Elizabeth does not rule her country and has no official political influence, Sultan Qaboos is an absolute monarch and the head of the government. Also, in Oman only males are entitled to the throne. It will be interesting if these come up in conversation between the two.

In a small tribute to the visit here are a few interesting facts you may or may not have known about the Queen and the Sultan.

1) The Queen's last visit to Oman was in 1979 and this month's visit will be her first to the Gulf since then. The Sultan's last State Visit to the UK was in 1982.

2) During her reign the Queen has made over 60 State visits to foreign governments.

3) The Sultan studied in England and graduated from The Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.

4) The Queen is 84 years old, the Sultan is 70.

5) The Queen's official birthday is not celebrated on the same day every year, the Sultan's is celebrated alongside the National Day on 18th November.

6) The Queen is head of State in 16 Commonwealth countries.

7) The Queen has been married for 63 years, the Sultan's brief marriage to his cousin ended in divorce.

8) Since 1800 the two countries have been tied by a Treaty which states that their friendship will "endure till the end of time". The Queen quoted the Treaty during the Sultan's visit to the UK in 1982.


  1. I think she looked very good on Friday - nice and fresh - Prince Philip looked tired though

  2. Having spent quite a few trips to Oman with my husband Alan, we feel so honoured to have found this beautiful country and priveledged to journey back and forth from the UK discovering new things on each visit.
    The Omani people are so friendly, polite and hospitable, an example to us all.
    We are thrilled that Queen Elizabeth visited Oman this week and that she was made so welcome. I didn't know about the Treaty -marvellous!