With his head bowed and eyes closed, the Emir of Sharjah stood above the funeral of his son while the prayers of 20,000 mourners filled the cave-like mosque.
By his side were co-rulers from the other oil-rich states that make up the United Arab Emirates, while condolences flooded from King Salman from Saudi Arabia, Sultan Qaboos from Oman, Sheikh Sabah Al Jaber, the Emir of Kuwait, King Hamad from Bahrain and King Abdullah of Jordan.
All sent their wishes that Allah could grant mercy to the soul of the deceased, Sheikh Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi, and alleviate the sorrow of his relatives.
And above all, it is his father who most needs this support, divine or otherwise.
Last Tuesday Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi should have celebrated his 80th birthday.
Instead, he had to announce that his son was found dead in a London penthouse overlooking Hyde Park. He was only 39 years old.
In accordance with Islamic tradition, his body was quickly flown back to Sharjah, allowing the funeral to take place the following day. But, tragically, that is not the end of the story.
Sheikh Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi was found dead in his Hyde Park London penthouse. He is depicted with Alice Delal in 2009
Because the sudden death of Sheikh Khalid has outlined a spotlight, both on his lifestyle and on the tragedies of the past, who have attacked a family who apparently was born with all the benefits in life.
After first being trained as an architect, Sheikh Khalid had gone against the will of his family by deciding to change his career and go into the world of high fashion.
His label of the same name, Qasimi, was shown at fashion weeks in both London and Paris, and his creations won favor with, among others, Lady Gaga, Florence Welch and Cheryl Cole.
More recently, he focused on men's clothing, his newest collection being inspired by the ongoing political tensions in the Middle East & # 39 ;.
It consisted of rough military cloths and clothing riveted together to imitate the nuts and bolts of armored vehicles & # 39 ;.
In one of its 50 stores worldwide, a pair of khaki Bermuda shorts cost £ 215, a hoodie £ 265.
But while his family finally came to terms with his career, his private life is now the subject of an investigation by Scotland Yard, after the police were summoned by ambulance teams present on the day of his death.
It is reported that Class A substances were found amid lurid claims that there was a & # 39; drug-fed orgy & # 39; had taken place in the hours before Sheikh Khalid died.
His brother Sheikh Mohammed died after an apparent heroin overdose in the family home at East Grinstead, Sussex, 24 years old in 1999
It was also claimed that he had a reputation for hard partying, surrounded himself with beautiful women and prostitutes, and also had a preference for illegal drugs that enhanced his sexual performance.
Although no arrests have been made, detectives treat death as & # 39; unexplained & # 39 ;.
A post mortem was performed before the body was repatriated and a full set of toxicological tests was performed, the results of which can take two months to come back.
For his father, Sheikh Sultan, the process by which the British authorities will attempt to unravel the circumstances of his death will undoubtedly seem terribly familiar.
Twenty years ago, his only other son suddenly died in this country. Drugs – heroin to be precise – were involved, the 24-year-old overdose in the family's mansion on a vast Sussex estate.
At the time, a picture emerged of a young man who had lost his way in life – without playing any real role, neither in the Middle East nor here in England.
The locals remembered his desperate attempts to escape from his gilded life by going to the local pub to drink beers or slipping away from his safety details to visit a girl in a nearby residential area.
Of course, the life of Sheikh Khalid was very different. And yet in interviews he also hinted that he didn't really know where he belonged.
& # 39; I've always considered myself an outsider, wherever I am & # 39 ;, he once said in an interview with a fashion magazine.
& # 39; I am too Western to fit in the Middle East, and too Middle Eastern to fit in the West. & # 39;
In accordance with Islamic tradition, the body of Sheikh Khalid (photo) was quickly flown back to Sharjah, allowing the funeral to take place the following day
As with many other Middle Eastern families, Britain held different attractions for the Al Qasimi family.
By the time Sheikh Sultan took over the throne from Sharjah, the third largest of the seven states of the UAE, 32 years old in 1972, he had already benefited from English training.
First there was a stint at a private English school in the Gulf, followed by a doctorate in the history of the University of Exeter and a further doctorate in political geography from Durham, to which he would later donate £ 2.25 million for a new building at home of the School of Government and Institute for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies.
Sweets for his children to also enjoy the benefits of an English upbringing, in 1989 he bought an estate, Wych Cross Place, near East Grinstead for £ 3 million.
The house, built in 1902 on the edge of Ashdown Forest and previously owned by the property magnate, Lord Samuel, was a palace suitable for a sultan.
It consisted of a 50ft reception, a library, a billiard room, a card room, five large bedroom suites and a further five bedrooms.
Sheikh Sultan, an enthusiastic gardener and botanist, has spent an estimated £ 10 million on adding a system of lakes to the formal gardens, inspired by the famous Victorian designer Gertrude Jekyll.
Expensive London homes would also be purchased by members of the extended family – including a £ 14 million apartment in One Hyde Park, & # 39; the world's most expensive apartment building – and they were once linked to an offer to buy Liverpool Football Club.
If his children also want to enjoy the benefits of an English upbringing, in 1989 the male father bought an estate, Wych Cross Place, near East Grinstead for £ 3 million.
Others of their number rubbed the shoulders of the British royal family – the sheik's cousin who plays polo with Prince Charles and princes William and Harry.
Although state affairs meant that Sheikh Sultan spent most of his time in the UAE, his family visited the UK regularly.
He had a daughter and son, Sheikh Mohammed, with his first wife and three daughters and a son, Sheikh Khalid, with his second.
Both boys would be raised at British boarding schools, Sheikh Khalid studies £ 42,000 a year at Tonbridge in Kent. And both boys found it hard to fit in – especially Sheikh Mohammed.
Although he was the ruler's eldest son because his parents were divorced, he was not in line to take his father's title, something he was all too aware of.
Those who knew him at Wych Cross describe a lonely young man, trapped by privileges but without a leading ambition in life.
Keith Jones-Hughes, a former Royal Marine ship instructor, was head of security at the property between 1989 and 1991.
& # 39; We used to call him Mo or Mo-Jo, & # 39; he said. & # 39; He was a very nice kid, but out of awe for his father, whom he respected.
He had a naughty streak and went out of court with a local girl who lived in a town hall.
We escaped and I spent a few hours there. It was all pretty harmless – one time I came in and found that he was looking at photos with the family. & # 39;
He added: & # 39; He was a sad boy. He often ate with us, or occasionally in the kitchen.
& # 39; Most of the time he was just messing around and he loved to ride the quads. I always told him to do more to get to his father, who was a friendly man.
& # 39; All he wanted to do was play, but in his world you should have a life purpose.
& # 39; He had an older sister, but spent most of his time with Wych Cross with us security guys. He was an anomaly who went nowhere and had no big plans.
& # 39; I remember that when they went to Brighton as a family, Mo didn't travel with them on the same bus. Mo & # 39; s mother has a store in Sharjah and he always told how he had crept to see her. & # 39;
Another employee remembered how Mohammed liked to go for a beer at the Roebuck Hotel, close to the main entrance of the house.
He said: & # 39; He liked drinking in local pubs despite his Muslim beliefs and we knew that his father would be furious if he found out – after all, Sultan Sheikh was the man who banned alcohol in Sharjah. & # 39;
The owner of the fashion label (photo) founded his menswear brand in London in 2008
Despite his father's efforts to find a career for him, as he grew older, the young man began to live a playboy lifestyle.
On one occasion he was flown to the hospital in London after he crashed his Mercedes sports car while driving a cousin in the desert.
Attempts to complete his education at a university in Arizona also failed. Not only was he thrown out because he wanted someone else to take his exams, but a judicial investigation would be heard later, it was there that he started taking drugs.
When his family found out, his father did everything he could to help him kick the habit.
In 1995, Mohammed was checked into a drug clinic in Great Britain for three months, after which he was enrolled in the Gulf Oil State police academy.
When he returned to official duties, he was accompanied by Sharjah police officers to ensure that he did not return to drugs.
But in the Easter of 1999, Sheikh Mohammed accompanied his family on a trip to Britain, arrived on a private jet at Gatwick airport before being driven to the estate in a Rolls-Royce. He had been away for 18 months.
Upon his arrival, he immediately went to his room suite and closed the door behind him. When he did not appear the next morning, a staff member broke through the bathroom window.
The young man was found naked from his waist, dropped to the ground with a tie that he used as a turnstile tied tightly around his arm. A dessert spoon and various syringes lay close to the sink.
A pathologist found a new injection wound in his hand and concluded that sheikh Mohammed had taken a deadly dose of heroin – probably hidden in his room from the moment he was addicted – after he realized that his tolerance levels were no longer enough to resist.
East Sussex coroner Alan Craze took a death sentence due to non-dependent drug use and commented: & No one, no matter how privileged and well-educated, is immune to the scourge of drug addiction.
It is unknown how the death of his half-brother Sheikh Khalid had affected, but his own youth was not without problems.
According to his company's website, he received an art scholarship upon arrival in Tonbridge before reading French and Spanish at University College London.
He completed a degree in architecture before moving to Central St Martins to study women's clothing.
& # 39; At the age of 14, I walked away from school and assisted a fashion photographer with whom a friend had brought me into contact – that was my first introduction to the fashion world, & # 39; he remembered.
& # 39; I grew up throughout the Cool Britannia, influx of fashion, McQueen, everything that happened in the 1990s. & # 39;
A few years later in 2008 he launched Qasimi. The clothing is filled internationally and modeled after catwalk stars Lily Cole and Yasmin Le Bon and Twilight actor Robert Pattinson.
A female worker in his fashion house said: & As you can imagine, Khalid was very popular, considering the amount of money he had and the kind of people he knew. There was no shortage of women after him.
& # 39; But he always treated his female staff with respect. He was an incredibly hard worker and very passionate, but he partyed very hard. & # 39;
Another said: & # 39; Khalid could become very unpredictable and we always knew we had to stay away from him after one of his famous parties. He was the boss, so we couldn't really complain. & # 39;
What exactly happened in the hours prior to his death is unclear, but it is claimed that a party was being held in his apartment in Knightsbridge, part of a development where houses sell for £ 90 million each.
& # 39; Like so many young Arab men, Sheikh Khalid enjoyed the liberties he had in London, & # 39; a source said last week. & # 39; But it ended very tragically. & # 39;
Something that his father, once again surrounded by flags mastering half-mast, knows all too well.
This location map shows where the emirate city of Sharjah is located in the United Arab Emirates
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