The Duke of Cambridge finished his visit to Kuwait and began his visit to Oman on Tuesday, with a series of security engagements to understand the longstanding relationship between the UK and these countries.
William’s morning began with a reception hosted by the British Ambassador to Kuwait to mark the 120th anniversary of UK-Kuwait relations.
Later, the Duke was hosted by Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, the Deputy Minister of the Amiri Diwan, in an audience.
Then, it was off to watch a drill demonstration, Exercise Desert Warrior, at the Sheikh Salem Al-Ali National Guard Camp near the Iraqi border. William watched as Kuwaiti troops performed urban warfare training that was being taught by UK soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, the Mercian Regiment and The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, both of which are based in Cyprus regularly.
His Royal Highness donned protective glasses and earplugs as he watched the training, which saw the soldiers storming a building using grenades and gunfire. The Kuwaiti and UK soldiers train alongside each other twice a year for four weeks and were halfway through their training when William arrived to view the exercise.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Major Ben Smyth, Commander of the 2nd Battalion, the Mercian Regiment, said that he’d hosted William during Tuesday’s exercise and that:
“As I explained to the Duke, defence forms the cornerstone of the UK-Kuwaiti relationship and this is a fantastic opportunity for us to demonstrate the UK’s enduring commitment to Kuwait.
“I explained to him at a company level our key outcome was wanting to improve that relationship and particularly build relations at a personal level. Defence is a small place and you can bump into each other again and again.”
The Duke was able to speak to the soldiers after the exercise, using a translator to speak to the Kuwaiti soldiers, and asked them about training in the summer.
“Ask him what it’s like training in the summer when it’s 50 degrees outside,” Prince William said. The soldier replied: “You melt,” causing William to laugh.
William received a commemorative plaque to mark his visit to Sheikh Salem Al-Ali National Guard Camp before departing.
Following Exercise Desert Warrior, William met with Sheikh Ali Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah, the Head of the Amiri Diwan, before departing Kuwait from the Kuwait International Airport, and arriving at the Khasab Airport in Musandam, Oman.
Upon arrival in Oman, William met with the British Ambassador to Oman and Sayyid Ibrahim bin Said bin Ibrahim Al-Busaidi, the Governor and Minister of State for Musandam before travelling to the Oman Royal Naval Base, the Ras Musandam Naval Base, in the area.Embed from Getty Images
He met with soldiers of the Royal Navy of Oman and the British Royal Navy on a warship, the Royal Naval Ship RNOV RASIKH, that was undergoing flight deck operations training.
Kensington Palace also noted that the Duke of Cambridge learned about the “Royal Navy of Oman’s responsibilities and role in monitoring the Strait of Hormuz maritime traffic separation scheme, which at its narrowest point is just 21 miles wide.”
William afterwards met with Rear-Admiral Abdullah bin Khamis Al Raisi, the Commander of the Royal Navy of Oman.Embed from Getty Images
His final engagement on Tuesday was meeting with His Highness Sayyid Haitham bin Tariq bin Taimur Al Said, the Minister of Heritage and Culture, upon arrival in Muscat.
The Duke wraps up his visit to Oman today.