Saudi King Salman offers condolences to Britain's grieving King Charles in phone call

Queen's death prompts an outpouring of sympathy from royals and leaders around the world

Prince Charles, as he was at the time, speaks to Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud during a visit to the kingdom in 2015. AFP
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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud offered his condolences to King Charles III on the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

The grieving sovereign spoke to King Salman by phone, a representative of the new British monarch said on Thursday. He said the new king had also chatted with the presidents of Germany, Greece, Italy and Rwanda.

King Charles has over the years been a frequent visitor to Saudi Arabia.

His educational charity, the Prince’s Foundation, has satellite operations in the kingdom.

In 2015, Prince Charles, as he was then, undertook a whirlwind tour of Middle Eastern countries that took in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and Jordan. The following year, he was joined by his wife Camilla ― now queen consort ― for a tour of the UAE, Oman and Bahrain.

Messages of support also poured in from leaders and dignitaries around the world.

US President Joe Biden offered his condolences to the king in a phone call, remembering the queen’s “kindness and hospitality, including when she hosted him and the first lady at Windsor Castle last June”.

"He also conveyed the great admiration of the American people for the queen, whose dignity and constancy deepened the enduring friendship and special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom," the statement said. President Biden stressed he was keen to "continue a close relationship with the king" as he takes on his new role.

Britain's King Charles leads members of the royal family in mourning the loss of Queen Elizabeth II. Reuters

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Twitter that he held a phone conversation with the king on Wednesday evening in which he “expressed France’s condolences on the death of his mother” and said that he would attend the queen’s funeral at Westminster Abbey on Monday.

Since the death of his mother at Balmoral on September 8, the 73-year-old king has undertaken a whistle-stop tour of the UK’s four nations.

After leading the procession of royals behind his mother’s coffin from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall on Wednesday, King Charles was afforded a day of respite on Thursday at his Highgrove Estate in Gloucestershire.

On Friday he will undertake his first official visit to Wales since taking over the throne from his mother. He will be joined by his wife Queen Consort Camilla at a prayer service for his mother at Cardiff’s Llandaff Cathedral and an event at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay.

Crowds gathered across the city on Friday morning, including outside Cardiff Castle where the king will greet members of the public on a visit considered by many to be a historic day for Wales.

The royals will make their appearance on Owain Glyndwr Day – the day Welsh communities gather to celebrate the life and legacy of the “rebel” Prince of Wales. The same day in 1400 was when Glyndwr began a 15-year uprising against the king of England, Henry IV, after which his followers would proclaim him Prince of Wales.

The revolt is considered to be the last Welsh war of independence and Glyndwr has since been viewed as a figurehead of Welsh nationalism and the independence movement.

After the death of the queen, a number of Glyndwr Day events were cancelled, prompting disappointment and anger in some communities. But as the king and queen consort are led on a procession through the Welsh capital, some have vowed to continue their Glyndwr Day traditions.

Charles visiting the Middle East over the years - in pictures

Updated: September 16, 2022, 9:58 AM