The son of an Emirati ruler has been found dead in “unexpected circumstances” at an apartment in upscale Knightsbridge, west London.
Crown prince Khalid al Qasimi, a fashion designer, was found unresponsive when emergency workers were called to the upmarket address, reportedly a penthouse, on Monday morning.
The 39-year-old was the second son of Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed al Qasimi, ruler of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The Metropolitan Police said the death was being treated as unexplained, and that an initial post-mortem examination carried out on Tuesday failed to identify a cause of death.
The force said no arrests had been made and that detectives’ inquiries were ongoing.
Paramedics were called at 10.32am on Monday “to reports of an incident”, London Ambulance Service said.
“We sent an ambulance crew and a medic in a car to the scene. Sadly a person was pronounced dead at the scene,” a spokesman said, but was unable to confirm what the victim was treated for.
The Emirati-born designer founded an eponymous fashion brand in 2016 and had presented his collections at London and Paris fashion weeks.
Three days of mourning have been announced in the UAE following the death of the “great philosopher and artist”, with flags flying at half-mast.
He was laid to rest on Wednesday morning in Sharjah, and a funeral prayer was held at the nearby King Faisal Mosque.
Mariano Vivanco, the photographer, called the designer “my angel” while prince Fahad al Saud of Saudi Arabia said: “This is so sad, I loved his work. Rest in power.”
Mr Al Qasimi moved to the UK from the UAE aged nine, and was educated at the expensive Tonbridge School where he was awarded an art scholarship upon entry.
He went on to study French and Spanish at University College London, before later completing a degree at the Association School of Architecture, according to his website.
He later studied architecture and fashion design at Central Saint Martins in London, and launched his first fashion label, Qasimi Homme, in 2008.
A statement on the Qasimi website said: “Khalid was praised for his tenacious yet sensitive exploration of social-political issues, particularly pertaining to the Middle East and its sometimes strained relationship with the West, a subject very close to his heart and upbringing.
“His goal was to create ‘a world of beautifully crafted products infused with cultural, social and political undertones to inform and inspire’.
“The design world has lost a great philosopher and artist.”
Mr Al Qasimi’s brother, Sheikh Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, died of a heroin overdose in 1999. The ruler of the Emirate state of Sharjah found his eldest son dead on the floor of his quarters in the family’s £3m English manor house in Sussex, an inquest heard at the time.
Additional reporting by PA
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