We are currently in the Year of Zayed, a 12-month period that marks 100 years since the birth of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founding Father of the UAE. While there have been many events and initiatives to celebrate the occasion in the Emirates, this week London remembered the life of the late royal.
The Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies held a get-together to honor the centenary, with a member of Britain’s Royal Family in attendance. Prince Andrew, Duke of York, gave an address at the event, where he opened up about his relationship with Sheikh Zayed. “Sheikh Zayed was a truly interesting and engaging person right to the end,” the royal said, according to The National. “He was a very influential figure in my understanding and my love of the region.” The Founding Father even gave Prince Andrew 10 cases of halwa during a visit to the UAE, he recalled, which the royal passed onto his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.
Prince Andrew also has a close relationship with the late Sheikh Zayed’s son, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE’s Armed Forces. The two attended Scotland’s Gordonstoun School together, the Daily Mail reports, and the British royal is a frequent visitor to the Emirates’ shores. He is last known to have made a trip in November 2017, where he toured the newly opened Louvre Abu Dhabi.