If American is the natural, begotten child of England, then Oman is its beloved adopted child. I don’t think treaties usually bring tears to our eyes, but one between England and Oman in 1800 touched my heart. It reads,
“ . . . the friendship of the two States may remain unshook till the end of time, and till the sun and moon have finished their revolving career.”
What a statement of faith and commitment between states. A relationship that started with mutual interests has continued even until today. England had its hand in helping His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said, the current ruler, peacefully overthrow his predecessor, his own father. At the time, Sultan Qaboos was 29 years old. Queen Elizabeth would have been about 44 years old.
In 2016, the Queen will be celebrating her 90th birthday with a huge four-day birthday bash. Included among the many performers selected to entertain the Queen and 7000 guests will be the Sultan’s own Royal Cavalry.
In researching Oman, I reviewed many, many photographs, and one of my favorites was taken of the Queen during her 2010 visit to Oman. In this photo she is greeting the Sultan, and her face is filled with such joy and genuine affection (she is blushing like a school girl!), I began reflecting on the close friendship they must have had over the years. They shared almost a half a century weathering political storms. Now, they each are aging monarchs at a stage in their life when they can look back on all the good they have each accomplished.
As I looked at the two of them together, I had to wonder what their relationship had been like. I wondered . . . the queen was still very young and beautiful in 1970, when Britain helped raise the Sultan to power. Did she have any special feelings at the time for the gentle, swarthy young ruler? However it began, Oman and Britain today remain best friends forever, nation to nation, and monarch to monarch.