The Al-Saud dynasty got its name from Saud I who founded it in the XVIIIth century. His son, Mohammed Bin Saud, was the first Amir of Nejd, the central area of present day Saudi Arabia. Abdul Aziz II Ibn Saud (1880-1953) created the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932 after having conquered Hedjaz and most of the Arabian Peninsula (Hassa, Rub Al-Khali, Assir, Djabal Shammar and Great Nafud). He officially had 16 wives and 37 sons, four of whom have already been rulers of Saudi Arabia.

King Abdul-Aziz Ibn Saud’s

main sons

King Abdul-Aziz’s wives,

mothers of these sons

Saud IV (1901-died in exile in Athens in 1969). His reign began on November 12, 1953. On March 22, 1958, he entrusted full powers to his half-brother Crown Prince Faysal; then abdicated in his favour on November 2, 1964. Wadha bint Hazzam al-Khaled (from the Beni Khaled tribe)
Faysal II (1904-assassinated in 1975 by Amir Faysal Bin Mousaed al-Saud, one of his nephews,). Tarfah bint Abdullah al-Shaykh Abdul-Wahab
Khaled II (1912-1982). Proclaimed king on the day of his half-brother’s assassination on March 25, 1975. Jawharah bint Musa’d Bin-Jaluwi
Fahd I (1921-?). He became king on June 13, 1982, the day of his half-brother’s Khaled death. Hussah bint Ahmed al-Sudairi (said to have been King Abdul-Aziz Ibn Saud’s favourite)
Sultan (1924-?). Pretender to the throne, Fahd’s brother. Hussah bint Ahmed al-Sudairi
Abdallah (1923-?). Crown Prince, Fahd’s half-brother. Fahda bint Asi al-Shuraym

The process of succession in Saudi Arabia is carried out by co-optation within the royal family. Since the kingdom was created in 1932, this choice has always been made amongst the sons of King Abdul-Aziz Ibn Saud. However, according to the Basic Law of Government edicted in 1992 by King Fahd, the succession to the throne of Saudi Arabia is no longer confined to the sons of King Abdul-Aziz Ibn Saud, but could pass to his grandsons in the male line. The issue of this change of generation will come up in the near future.


« Généalogie de la famille émirale puis royale des Al-Seoud depuis 1446 et composition actuelle de cette famille », Jean Mariaud de Serres, 1984.

« Saudi Arabia 1996-98 », Business Monitor International, London, 1996