Queen Receives Lavish Gifts From Sultan Of Oman


In a region of the world famed for its hospitality and generosity even the Queen was taken aback by the splendour of the gifts she received from a Middle East Sultan.

The monarch was presented with a glittering 21-carat gold engraved vase by the ruler of Oman, a friend of the sovereign who personally chose the present for the British head of state.

The Gulf is famed for its gold jewellery and a piece from the region is a must-have item for many tourists.

As Sultan Qaboos presented the 12-inch tall gold vase to the Queen, minutes before they sat down to a state banquet in the ruler's Al-Alam palace, Philip asked "Can you put flowers in it?" and the Middle East ruler replied "yes".

The sovereign's passion for horses was featured in another present from her friend, a Faberge-style egg that revealed, when the top was removed, a tiny carousel of horses that spun round to a musical tune.

The Arab leader told the Queen: "I had it made especially in your country. It plays music."

In return the monarch gave the Sultan, who has an interest in clocks, a book called The Elements of Clock and Watch-Work, a first edition published in 1766 and signed by the author Alexander Cummings as Scottish watchmaker.