Prince William to focus on education, the environment and defence during Oman and Kuwait visit

The Duke of Cambridge will visit the Gulf countries for the first time in December

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and New Zealand film maker Peter Jackson attend the world premiere of Peter Jackson's film "They Shall Not Grow Old" during the BFI London Film Festival in London, Britain October 16, 2018. Daniel Leal-Olivas/Pool via REUTERS

The Duke of Cambridge will visit Oman and Kuwait next month. Kensington Palace has announced that Prince William will undertake an official visit to the two Gulf countries later this year, between Sunday, December 1 and Wednesday, December 4. The palace has outlined details of his trip, saying he will "meet with a broad range of Kuwaitis and Omanis". Education, the environment and defence will be the focus of the visit.

The trip is taking place at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and is intended to "highlight strong links and cooperation in many areas, including education, the environment, and defence," Kensington Palace has said in a statement.

The palace has announced that he is set to visit "the modern capitals of Kuwait City and Muscat" as well as "vast Kuwaiti deserts and stunning wadis in the Omani mountains".

The itinerary adds that "the visit will take in both countries’ unique cultures, their beautiful landscapes, and diverse communities."

"During the visit, His Royal Highness will learn more about organisations working to educate and empower young people, and projects which provide opportunities to help them develop important life skills such as leadership and resilience," the announcement continues.

"The Duke will also hear more about Kuwait and Oman’s ambitious plans to conserve their natural environment, and protect their important ecosystems from new environmental challenges."

He is expected to meet a "broad range" of Kuwaitis and Omanis, "including children and young people, leaders from government, inspiring conservationists, and those working in the charity sector."

Significantly, the visit coincides with the 120th anniversary year of the signing of the 1899 Treaty of Friendship between Kuwait and the UK. The treaty was originally signed on 23 January 1899.

Previous royal visits to the Gulf

In November 2016, Prince William's father, Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, visited Oman with his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. During their trip, they also visited the UAE and Bahrain.

In 2010, Prince William's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, visited Oman, where she spent time with Sultan Qaboos. She previously visited the country in 1979, when she sailed in on board royal yacht Britannia.

During the same trip, she also visited Kuwait with Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. There are photos in the British monarchy's collection of the royals in front of the Kuwait Towers, which still stand tall in the country today.

Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge returned from a successful tour of Pakistan at the end of last month.

During their stay they met children in need at the SOS Village in Lahore, played cricket with the country's national team, visited the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore and met people living in the mountainous Chitral district, on the border with Afghanistan.

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