Abu Dhabi: British Ambassador to the UAE Patrick Moody has thanked the leaders and people of the UAE for offering condolences over the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.
In a video message posted on the social media channels of the British Embassy in the UAE on Saturday night, Moody remembered the Queen fondly and said the UAE and UK are truly mourning together. “In this time of great sadness, we are all deeply grateful for the messages of condolence from Their Highnesses, the President and the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, as well as from so many other Emiratis and residents of the UAE,” said the ambassador.
He said the most touching has been the declaration of a period of official mourning in the UAE.
The longest-serving British monarch passed away on Thursday at the age of 96. On Friday, the President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan had sent a message of condolences to King Charles III of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, also sent similar message to King Charles. Rulers of the Emirates had also sent messages.
Also on Friday, the UAE announced that flags in the public and private sectors in the country as well as its embassies abroad will fly at half-mast, starting on Friday, for a period of three days, in mourning of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.
There was also a 96-round gun salute, symbolising the years lived by the queen, on a UK Royal Navy ship in Dubai on Friday.
“We truly mourn together,” said Moody, acknowledging that he is aware that many more people want to offer their condolences.
“There is a virtual book of condolence at royal.uk But to allow you to sign the condolence book in person, we are opening venues in Abu Dhabi and Dubai for members of the public. Details of our locations and opening time to run our social media,” he said.
In Dubai, several British expats, Emiratis and other UAE residents have been paying rich tributes to the Queen at QEII (Queen Elizabeth II) ship at Port Rashid in Deira.
In Abu Dhabi, condolences can be given at St. Andrew’s Church, Al Barq Street, Al Mushrif between 12pm and 6pm from Monday, September 12, onwards.
Moody said: “None of us will forget where we were when we heard the news of the passing of Her Majesty, the Queen. She touched all of our lives profoundly, and in so many different ways.”
For him as a diplomat, he said, the Queen was “our greatest diplomat”.
“But she was so much more to all of you, an inspiration, a comfort and a joy. Who can forget her meetings with James Bond -and Paddington Bear? And if that makes you smile, remember her smile, always there for us, and so beautifully captured in that last photograph of her Balmoral,” he said.
The ambassador was referring to the viral photo of the Queen that was taken two days before her death on Thursday. The royal was pictured smiling next to a fireplace in the drawing room Balmoral Castle, her Scottish residence, prior to appointing Liz Truss as the new UK prime minister, the 15th prime minister to hold office during her reign.
Flag at full mast
The envoy also spoke about the proclamation of the new king, King Charles.
“To mark this, we’ve raised our flags from half-mast to full-mast for one day, after which they will return to half-mast until the end of the mourning period. God bless our gracious Queen, long live for King,” the ambassador added in his message.