Prince Charles to fly to Saudi Arabia to pay respects to friend King Abdullah

Prince Charles will fly to Saudi Arabia following the death of King Abdullah, Clarence House has confirmed. The Prince of Wales counted the late royal as a personal friend, and is travelling to pay his final respects to the 90-year-old, who passed away on Friday.

Charles is expected to fly to Riyadh to join other dignitaries honouring King Abdullah. As a non-Muslim, he will be unable to attend the funeral service itself, but is understood to be going to a reception instead.


Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia

In a statement, Clarence House said, "The Prince of Wales, representing Her Majesty The Queen, will travel to Saudi Arabia to pay his condolences following the death of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, HM King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud."

King Abdullah died at the age of 90 in the capital of Riyadh after battling pneumonia. He has been succeeded by his half-brother, Prince Salman, 79.

His death brought to an end the rule of one of world's oldest monarchs; the Queen, 88, now holds that title.

Prince Charles considered King Abdullah to be a personal friend

Prince Charles is friends with a number of members of the Saudi royal family, and most recently visited the country in February 2014 – his tenth official visit since he first went there in 1986.