Royals Prince William Asked by the Queen for the First Time to Pay Respects After Death of Foreign Ruler The Duke of Cambridge traveled to the United Arab Emirates following the death of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan By Stephanie Petit Stephanie Petit Stephanie Petit is a Royals Editor, Writer and Reporter at PEOPLE. People Editorial Guidelines Published on May 16, 2022 01:42 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Hamad Al Kaabi/AP/Shutterstock Prince William just stepped up for Queen Elizabeth in a big way. For the first time, the Queen asked her grandson to represent her following the death of a foreign ruler. Prince William, who is second in line to the throne behind his father Prince Charles, traveled to the United Arab Emirates to pay condolences following the death of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Abu Dhabi. Prince William, 39, met with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who has been appointed as President of the United Arab Emirates. Prince William was likely tapped for the trip because the Queen, 96, rarely travels overseas anymore in addition to her mobility issues limiting her public outings in recent months, and Prince Charles, 73, is scheduled to start his royal tour in Canada on Tuesday. The visit is part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations marking the monarch's 70 years on the throne. See Queen Elizabeth's Reaction to a Joke About Her Recent Absences from Royal Outings Hamad Al Kaabi/AP/Shutterstock On Friday, the Queen sent a message of condolences. "I am saddened to hear of the death of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Abu Dhabi," she said. "Your distinguished brother devoted his life to serving the people of the United Arab Emirates and his relationship with its allies and friends." She continued, "He will be long remembered by all who work for regional stability, understanding between nations and between faiths, and for the conservation cause. I offer Your Highness my sincere condolences and I extend my sympathy to the people of the United Arab Emirates." Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more! Prince William recently made his first official visit to the U.A.E. in February, marking his first royal trip abroad in nearly two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He headed to Dubai came at the request of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and he attended U.K. National Day at Expo 2020 Dubai.