As the world mourned the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip, many of the royal family’s old friends in the Arab region sent their condolences to the queen. The leaders of UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman relayed their sadness on the Prince’s death, as the royal couple were not strangers to the Middle East region. During her 69-year reign, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip attached a special importance to maintaining Britain’s special relationship with the monarchies of the Gulf.
On one of the few occasions when the Duke of Edinburgh ventured out to the region on his own, Prince Philip made a surprise visit to British troops stationed in Iraq's Basra in 2006, where he with met soldiers from The Queen's Royal Hussars, in his role as the regiment's colonel-in-chief.
In honour of Prince’s Philip’s death, a former naval officer, batteries in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast – the capitals of the four nations that make up the United Kingdom – as well as the Mediterranean outpost of Gibraltar fired the volleys at one-minute intervals beginning at midday. Ships including the HMS Montrose, a frigate patrolling the Arabian Gulf, offered their own salutes.
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