HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, Chairman of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC), received HRH Prince Andrew, Duke of York, who was accompanied by a delegation and hosted a dinner in honor of Prince Andrew on Wednesday 21st September, 2011. The meeting was also attended by H.E. Sir Tom Philips, Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Saudi Arabia, HE Ambassador Alaa El Din Al-Askari, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Protocol Affairs, Mr. Saad bin Nafel, Executive Manager and chairman of HRH’s private office, Dr. Nahla AlAnbar Private Executive Assistant to HRH the Chairman, Dr. Sheikh Ali Alnashwan, Religious Advisor to HRH the Chairman, Mr. Omar Almutawaa, Executive Manager, Finance and Administration of HRH private office and Ms. Amani Algahtani, Assistant Executive Manager- HRH’s Palaces.
During the meeting the two royals discussed a number of bilateral issues, shedding light on decades of Saudi-British relations. Also on the agenda of discussions were the Prince’s investments in the United Kingdom and Prince Alwaleed’s donations to university centers to encourage inter-cultural dialogue. Prince Andrew is a former naval officer and is currently the United Kingdom`s Special Representative for International Trade and Investment for the Department of Trade and Industry. Prince Alwaleed commended The Duke of York for his current active role in international trade and investment. The Duke of York thanked His Highness for his hospitality and warm welcome and the two exchanged cordial gifts.
Prince Alwaleed has a long established relationship with the UK through his investments via KHC and through Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation that is chaired by Prince Alwaleed.
On April 29th 2011, Prince Alwaleed and Princess Ameerah attended the Royal wedding of HRH Prince William and Ms. Kate Middleton by invitation from Her Majesty the Queen.
In March 2011, HH Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel Vice Chairwoman of Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation and HRH Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh who is Chancellor of the University of Cambridge and the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, formally opened the HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre of Islamic Studies at the University of Cambridge. During the opening ceremony the Chancellor Prince Philip presented Her Highness with an 800th Anniversary Medal for Outstanding Philanthropy that she accepted on behalf of Prince Alwaleed.
In November 2010, HRH Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales and HRH Prince Alwaleed who was accompanied by his spouse HH Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel, Vice Chairwoman, Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation inaugurated The Savoy hotel one of KHC’s major investments in the United Kingdom. In June 2010, Prince Alwaleed and Princess Ameerah, were received by HRH Prince Charles, at Clarence House during their visit to the United Kingdom.
In March 2010, Prince Alwaleed was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor honoris causa from the University of Edinburgh in a ceremony at the Signet Library, Parliament Square, and also inaugurated the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre for the Study of Islam at Edinburgh University. The degree was conferred by HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. The Duke of Edinburgh is Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh and the University of Cambridge.
In May 2008, HRH made a £16 million endowment to create two new research centres for Islamic studies at the University of Cambridge and the University of Edinburgh (£8 million for each university). The new centers carry out both research and public engagement designed to enhance understanding between the Muslim world and the West. In 2002, the Prince made a £1 million endowment to the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter.
Prince Alwaleed through KHC investments in the United Kingdom includes Canary Warf in the real estate sector and Citigroup in the financial sector. In addition, other investments include a 47.5% interest in the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts co-owned by the billionaire Bill Gates, which manages 3 hotels; London at Park Lane, London at Canary Wharf and the third in Hampshire.
His Highness had received the Duke of York in 2007 and 2009. Moreover, the Prince had received the Prince of Wales at Kingdom Resort in Riyadh in 2006 and the Prince visited Highgrove in 2005. Prince Alwaleed also met with Prince Charles in 2003 during the GCC Polo Cup event at The Guards Polo Club in Windsor when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth presented Prince Charles’s team with the trophy, jointly with Prince Alwaleed.