Saturday, February 04, 2023 | Rajab 12, 1444 H
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

A queen who reigned hearts

The embassy of the UK in Muscat will open a book for the people to record their condolences at its premises on Sunday

The Sultanate of Oman is mourning the death of Queen Elizabeth II with flags at half mast. The embassy of the UK in Muscat will open a book for the people to record their condolences at its premises on Sunday.


The Observer spoke to some British citizens who expressed their grief and sorrow over the end of an era.


"I am deeply saddened by the passing of HM Queen Elizabeth II. She was a mother to Her Nation and the Commonwealth and will be deeply missed. My sincere condolences go to The Royal Family at this time," Ambassador Bill Murray said.


Thomas Stephen, CEO Renaissance Services SAOG and current Chairman of British Business Forum in Oman, said Queen Elizabeth II loved the people and always met and engaged with crowds wherever she went. She, in turn, was loved by people all over the world. She loved Oman and, most unusually, paid two State visits here during her reign. "The special bilateral relationship between the Sultanate of Oman and the United Kingdom can be seen in the photographs of the Queen with both the late Sultan Qaboos and the more recent photographs with His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik. There is genuine deep respect and affection between the two Heads of State. This reflects the respect and affection between the peoples of both countries. I have been deeply touched by the many messages I have received from Omani friends mourning with us and sending condolences to all of us and our new King Charles III and his family. Clearly, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II touched many Omani hearts, and through their many thoughtful messages, they are showing how they too loved her."


Judith Razek MBE, said the fact that the death of Queen Elizabeth II has affected so many people is a reflection of her seventy years of devotion and service to her country and throughout the world.


"The Queen visited Oman many times. It was always such a pleasure to see her enjoying the company of late Sultan Qaboos. They seemed to have such a special bond. They both enjoyed sharing their love of horses and their true friendship was a delight to see. We may never have personally met either of these two great leaders but we have felt the benefit of their graciousness and devotion to duty. They have been an inspiration and a wonderful example to us."


Lilianne Donders said, "I know and experienced while living here and, in the UK, being a member of the Anglo-Oman society, that Oman and the UK are very close. I am sad and did not expect this sad news so soon. Queen Elizabeth was an inspiration. A woman who cared with her heart towards her people. I really think she created respect for others in all walks of life, she had empathy and dedicated the last moment of her life to the people. There will be no one who can copy that."


Richard Weetch said, "To the British, members of the wider Commonwealth and indeed people all around the globe, the Queen was a beacon of consistency in an otherwise constantly changing and challenging world. Sustained by deep faith, an unwavering sense of duty and responsibility to her subjects, she represented the values that helped make the world a better place for so many."


Miriam Anne Malin, cartographer and former TV newsreader, said, "When I heard the news of the Queen's death, it sent a shiver down my spine and brought a lump to my throat. It seems she has been part of my life forever. As a young Princess, she was beautiful and I remember well watching in awe, her wedding on the British Pathe news in the cinema, in November 1947. I recall being picked up from school when her father King George 6th died. Then in 1953, most of the British public purchased their first black and white television set to watch the coronation of the young Queen. Queen Elizabeth was a constant in our lives, an inspiration, an extraordinary person and a role model to us all. Respected worldwide, we were enormously proud of her. She will be remembered as being one of the greatest reigning monarchs of all time. Her Majesty will be profoundly missed. May she rest in peace."


Maggie Jeans, OBE, said, "My mobile phone has been full of heartfelt messages of condolence, most from Omani friends and images of Queen Elizabeth II, often pictured on previous visits to Oman with late Sultan Qaboos. Two great inspirational leaders. We shall not look upon their like again, as Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet." The British Royal Family enjoy a special relationship with Oman which goes back to the 1800 agreement between Oman and Britain which declared that the bond between the two nations should be "unshook till the end of time."


There was also a special bond between the ruling families, with shared interests and royal visits in both directions. The Queen last visited Oman in 2010 when many British expatriates in Oman were privileged to meet her at a garden party held at the British Residence.


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