Saudi Arabia - Rise to power



The line of succession to the Saudi throne passes one by one through the sons of the late King Abdul Aziz in order of seniority unless someone gives up this right voluntarily. When a king takes over, he appoints the new crown prince and heir-apparent with the consultation of the senior princes of the royal family. Even the ascension of the crown prince to the throne is not automatic as the senior princes of the royal family must confirm this step. The Saudi royal family is highly secretive and the whole process is shrouded in mystery.

Prior to becoming king, Fahd was an active member of the royal family. At the age of 30, in 1953, Prince Fahd was appointed as the Kingdom's first education minister. He supported Faisal in his dispute with his eldest brother, King Saud, in the 1950s. In the ensuing power struggle, Faisal was successful. He was crowned king in 1964. Fahd's position was enhanced in the royal hierarchy as he was appointed second deputy prime minister in 1967. When Faisal was assassinated in 1975, Khalid Bin Abdul Aziz became the king and Fahd was appointed crown prince and first deputy prime minister. Due to Khalid's poor health not allowing him to actively pursue the state business, he delegated the actual conduct of government to Fahd. On Khalid's death in 1982, Fahd became the king and prime minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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