King of Saudi Arabia

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King of Saudi Arabia
ملك المملكة العربية السعودية
Royal Standard of Saudi Arabia.svg
Rodrigo Duterte meets with Salman of Saudi Arabia (2017-04-11) (cropped).jpg
Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques

since 23 January 2015
Style Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques (formal)
His Majesty (diplomatic relations)
Heir apparent Mohammed bin Salman
First monarch Ibn Saud
Formation23 September 1932
ResidenceAl-Yamamah Palace

The King of Saudi Arabia is the monarchial head of state and head of government of Saudi Arabia who holds absolute power. He is the head of the Saudi Arabian royal family, the House of Saud. [1] The king is called the "Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques" (خادم الحرمين الشريفين), a title that signifies Saudi Arabia's jurisdiction over the mosques of Masjid al Haram in Mecca and Al-Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina, the title has been used many times through the history of Islam. The first Saudi monarch to use the title was King Faisal, however, King Khaled did not use the title after him. In 1986, King Fahd replaced "His Majesty" with the title of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and it has been ever since used by both King Abdullah and King Salman bin Abdulaziz. [2]



King Abdulaziz (known in the West as Ibn Saud) regained his patrimony, which is known as today's Saudi Arabia in 1902. Restoring his family as emirs of Riyadh, he then established Nejd as his headquarters in 1922. Following the establishment of Riyadh as the capital of his state, King Abdulaziz then captured Hejaz 1925. [3]

Ibn Saud proclaimed his dominions as the Sultanate of Nejd in 1921, shortly before completing the unification of the region. He was proclaimed king/malik of Hejaz in 1926, and raised Nejd to a kingdom as well in 1927. For the next five years, Ibn Saud administered the two parts of his realm, the Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd as separate units. On 23 September 1932, he formally united his territories into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [4] [5]


The kings since Ibn Saud's death have all been his sons, and all likely immediate successors to the reigning King Salman will be from among his progeny. Sons of Ibn Saud are considered to have primary claim on the throne of Saudi Arabia. [6] This makes the Saudi monarchy quite distinct from Western monarchies, which usually feature large, clearly defined royal families and orders of succession, and use the absolute primogeniture system of succession. Muhammad bin Nayef was the first grandson of Ibn Saud to be in the line of succession before being deposed from the position of Crown Prince by a royal decree in 2017. [7]

Saudi Arabia is ruled by Islamic law (Sharia) and is an Islamic state. [8]

Other functions

The king of Saudi Arabia is also considered the head of the House of Saud and prime minister. The crown prince is also the "deputy prime minister". The kings after Faisal have named a "second deputy prime minister" as the subsequent heir after the crown prince.

Royal Standard

The Royal Standard consists of a green flag, with an Arabic inscription and a sword featured in white, and with the national emblem embroidered in gold in the lower right canton. [9]

Royal Standard of the King Royal Standard of Saudi Arabia.svg
Royal Standard of the King FIAV sinister.svg

The script on the flag is written in the Thuluth script. It is the shahada or Islamic declaration of faith:

لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا الله مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ الله
lā ʾilāha ʾillā-llāh, muhammadun rasūlu-llāh
There is no other god but Allah, Muhammad is the messenger of God. [10]

List of kings of Saudi Arabia (1932–present)

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Ibn Saud
  • عبد العزيز
(1875-01-15)15 January 1875 –
9 November 1953(1953-11-09) (aged 78)
22 September 1932 (aged 57)9 November 1953
(death by natural causes)
Reign established by conquest Saud Ibn Saud.png
  • سعود
(1902-01-12)12 January 1902 –
23 February 1969(1969-02-23) (aged 67)
9 November 1953 (aged 51)2 November 1964
Son of Ibn Saud and Wadhah bint Muhammad bin 'AqabSaud Saud of Saudi Arabia.jpg
  • فيصل
(1906-04-14)14 April 1906 –
25 March 1975(1975-03-25) (aged 68)
2 November 1964 (aged 58)25 March 1975
Son of Ibn Saud and Tarfa bint Abduallah bin Abdulateef al SheekhSaud King Faisal of Saudi Arabia on on arrival ceremony welcoming 05-27-1971 (cropped).jpg
  • خالد
(1913-02-13)13 February 1913 –
13 June 1982(1982-06-13) (aged 69)
25 March 1975 (aged 62)13 June 1982 (death by natural causes)Son of Ibn Saud and Al Jawhara bint Musaed bin Jiluwi Saud King Khalid bin Abdulaziz 1.jpg
  • فهد
16 March 1921 – 1 August 2005 (aged 84)13 June 1982 (aged 61)1 August 2005 (death by natural causes)Son of Ibn Saud and Hussa bint Ahmed Al Sudairi Saud Fahd bin Abdul Aziz.jpg
  • عبد الله
(1924-08-01)1 August 1924 –
23 January 2015(2015-01-23) (aged 90)
1 August 2005 (aged 81)23 January 2015 (death by natural causes)Son of Ibn Saud and Fahda bint Asi Al Shuraim Saud King Abdullah bin Abdul al-Saud January 2007.jpg
  • سلمان
(1935-12-31) 31 December 1935 (age 85)23 January 2015 (aged 79)IncumbentSon of Ibn Saud and Hussa bint Ahmed Al Sudairi Saud Salman of Saudi Arabia - 2020 (49563590728) (cropped).jpg

Current heirs-apparent


Salman of Saudi ArabiaAbdullah of Saudi ArabiaFahd of Saudi ArabiaKhalid of Saudi ArabiaFaisal of Saudi ArabiaSaud of Saudi ArabiaIbn Saud of Saudi ArabiaKing of Saudi Arabia

See also

Related Research Articles

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Hussa bint Ahmed Al Sudairi (1900–1969) was one of the many spouses and cousins of King Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia and the mother of seven sons by him, including King Fahd, King Salman, Crown Prince Sultan, and Crown Prince Nayef. Her sons with Abdulaziz are commonly known as the Sudairi Seven.

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The Saudi conquest of Hejaz or the Second Saudi-Hashemite War, also known as the Hejaz-Nejd War, was a campaign engaged by Saudi Sultan Abdulaziz Ibn Saud to take over the Hashemite Kingdom of Hejaz in 1924–25, ending with conquest and incorporation of Hejaz into the Saudi domain.

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Ibn Saud (1875–1953), the founder and first king of Saudi Arabia, was very young when he first married. However his wife died shortly after their marriage. Ibn Saud remarried at eighteen and his firstborn child was Turki. He had 45 sons of whom 36 survived to adulthood and had children of their own. He also had many daughters. He is thought to have had 22 wives.


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