King of Saudi Arabia

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King of Saudi Arabia
ملك المملكة العربية السعودية
Coat of arms of Saudi Arabia.svg
Prince Salman bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud at the Pentagon April 2012.jpg
since 23 January 2015
Style The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques
Heir apparent Muhammad bin Nayef
First monarch Abdulaziz (Ibn Saud)
Formation 22 September 1932
Residence King’s Palace, Riyadh[1]
Coat of arms of Saudi Arabia.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Saudi Arabia
Basic Law
Foreign relations

The King of Saudi Arabia is Saudi Arabia's head of state and absolute monarch (i.e. head of government). He serves as the head of the Saudi monarchy — House of Saud. The King is called the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques (خادم الحرمين الشريفين). The title, which signifies Saudi Arabia's jurisdiction over the mosques of Masjid al Haram in Mecca and Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina, replaced His Majesty (صاحب الجلالة) in 1986.


Further information: History of Saudi Arabia

King Abdulaziz (also known as Ibn Saud) began conquering today's Saudi Arabia in 1902, by restoring his family as emirs of Riyadh. He then proceeded to conquer first the Nejd (1922) and then the Hejaz (1925). He progressed from Sultan of Nejd, to King of Hejaz and Nejd, and finally to King of Saudi Arabia in 1932.


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 his progeny. Sons of Ibn Saud are considered to have primary claim on the throne of Saudi Arabia. This makes the Saudi monarchy quite distinct from Western monarchies, which usually feature large, clearly defined royal families and orders of succession.

Legal position[edit]

Saudi Arabia is ruled by Islamic law and purports to be an Islamic state, but many Muslims see a hereditary monarchy as being a discouraged system of government in Islam.[2]

Other functions[edit]

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.

Kings of Saudi Arabia (1932–present)[edit]

Reign start
Reign end
  • Ibn Saud
  • عبد العزيز
(1876-11-26)26 November 1876 – 9 November 1953(1953-11-09) (aged 76) 22 September 1932 9 November 1953 Saud Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia
  • سعود
(1902-01-12)12 January 1902 – 23 February 1969(1969-02-23) (aged 67) 9 November 1953 2 November 1964
Son of Ibn Saud and Wadhah bint Muhammad bin 'Aqab Saud Saud of Saudi Arabia
  • فيصل
(1906-04-14)14 April 1906 – 25 March 1975(1975-03-25) (aged 68) 2 November 1964 25 March 1975
Son of Ibn Saud and Tarfa bint Abduallah bin Abdulateef al Sheekh Saud Faisal of Saudi Arabia
  • خالد
(1913-02-13)13 February 1913 – 13 June 1982(1982-06-13) (aged 69) 25 March 1975 13 June 1982 Son of Ibn Saud and Al Jawhara bint Musaed bin Jiluwi Saud Khalid of Saudi Arabia
  • فهد
(1921-03-16)16 March 1921 – 1 August 2005(2005-08-01) (aged 84) 13 June 1982 1 August 2005 Son of Ibn Saud and Hassa bint Ahmed Al Sudairi Saud Fahd of Saudi Arabia
  • عبد الله
(1924-08-01)1 August 1924 – 23 January 2015(2015-01-23) (aged 90) 1 August 2005 23 January 2015 Son of Ibn Saud and Fahda bint Asi Al Shuraim Saud Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
  • سلمان
(1935-12-31) 31 December 1935 (age 79) 23 January 2015 Incumbent Son of Ibn Saud and Hassa bint Ahmed Al Sudairi Saud Salman of Saudi Arabia

Current heirs-presumptive[edit]


Salman of Saudi Arabia Abdullah of Saudi Arabia Fahd of Saudi Arabia Khalid of Saudi Arabia Faisal of Saudi Arabia Saud of Saudi Arabia Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia

Royal Standard[edit]

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.

Royal Standard of the King

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 god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kings of the World – Rich Living Monarchs and their Royal Residences
  2. ^ Rabasa, Angel (2004). The Muslim world after 9/11. Rand Corporation. p. 164. ISBN 978-0-8330-3712-1. 
  3. ^ "About Saudi Arabia: Facts and figures". The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Washington D.C. Retrieved 24 April 2012.