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How Do Saudi Arabian Royalty Decide Who Becomes King?

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is considered to be the birthplace of Islam and is one of the world’s largest producers of oil in the world. The Kingdom is also one of only a few countries governed by a royal family. But how do they choose their king?

The royal family of Saudi Arabia has been ruling the Kingdom since its inception in the early 1900s. To keep this power within their line, all kings chosen must be the son of the first king. The first king had a total of 45 sons.

How is the Next Saudi Arabian King Chosen?

Succession in Saudi Arabia has always been passed down from the first king and founder of the country, King Abdul Aziz bin Saud. When he established the Kingdom, he ensured that only his family would rule it. Kingship was reserved only to the sons of the founding king, who named the country after the family name. Since King Saud’s death in 1953, five of his sons have taken a seat on the throne. People are well aware that the late king still has around 20 sons alive and can take the throne after a brother’s passing. However, the sons are well over eighty years in age. (Source: Gulf News)

According to the Saudi succession law, the rule should be passed to the founder king’s sons and grandsons. The law allows succession from brother to brother, which has created a problem for the monarchy. King Saud’s sons have been ascending at older ages and remain in power well into their eighties. The problem is that the mental and physical capability of the king is questionable due to their advanced age. (Source: Washington Institute)

Interesting Facts About Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a traditional and extremely conservative country. Despite it being known for its strict religious laws and its vast oil reserves, there are some interesting things particular to the country. Here are a few of them.

Saudi Arabia Imports Sand

95% of the country is classified as a desert or a semi-desert. However, the sand in the country’s deserts is deemed unsuitable for many construction and glassmaking activities. Saudi Arabia actually imports sand from Australia to be used for these activities.

It is the Most Gender-Segregated Country

In previous years, women were not allowed to do many activities like drive, travel, vote, or even open bank accounts independently. They would have to have a male guardian to accompany them or make decisions. In 2015, King Salman finally allowed female citizens to vote for the very first time. By 2018 women were also allowed to drive. 

Jeddah Tower

The country is constructing the world’s tallest building, taking the title away from the Burj Khalifa. The Jeddah Tower is designed to break the 1-kilometer high record.

Winston’s Hiccup

In 1921, notable leader Winston Churchill set the boundaries between Saudi Arabia and Jordan. According to rumors, Churchill was drinking generous amounts of brandy while doing so. He hiccuped in the process, which caused him to draw a random triangular shape on the map accidentally. This mistake gave Saudi Arabiaseveral thousand square kilometers of Jordanian land. This area was jokingly called Winston’s Hiccup.

(Source: On His Own Trip)

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