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Buckingham Palace flag flies at half-mast following Omani royal death

Ana Bort via Flickr CC

The flag at Buckingham Palace was at half-mast on Saturday due to the death of a close ally to the United Kingdom.

The Sultan of Oman, Qaboos bin Said Al Said, died on over the weekend at the age of 79 triggering mourning all over the world.

The Sultan was the the longest-serving ruler in the Middle East, having served as Oman’s Sultan for 50 years.

As a mark of respect, the flags on all government buildings in the UK, including Buckingham Palace, were lowered to half-mast.

The flag flying at half-mast at Buckingham Palace is a rare honour.

Sultan Qaboos was a close ally of the United Kingdom, with royals flooding to offer their condolences to the Omani people.

On his passing, The Queen said: “He will be remembered for his wise leadership and his commitment to peace and understanding between nations and between faiths.  

“He was a good friend of my family and of the United Kingdom, and we are thankful for all he did to further strengthen the bond of friendship between our countries. My State Visit to Oman in 2010 remains a cherished memory.  
“I offer my sincere and heartfelt condolences to the Omani people. May the long history of loyal friendship between our two countries continue.

The Prince of Wales flew to Oman on Saturday to pay his respects in person, and to meet the new Sultan.

The Duke of Cambridge, who met the Sultan just last year, said: “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 Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said.”

It is important to note that it was the Union Flag at half-mast above Buckingham Palace over the weekend, not the Royal Standard.

Even if The Queen was in residence at the palace at the time, the Royal Standard is never flown at half-mast under any circumstances.

Even in the event of Her Majesty’s death, there is always a sovereign on the throne so the Royal Standard will never be flown at half-staff.