Another prince from Saudi Arabia has died. Prince Turki bin Abdulaziz, a brother to Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, died early Saturday according to a statement released by the Palace at the age of 83.
Prince Turki was one of seven brothers known as the ‘Sudairi Seven’. They took this name from their mother, Hassa bint Ahmed Al Sudairi.
Prince Turki was born in 1934. He was the son of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s founder, King Abdulaziz, also known as King Ibn Saud to those in the West. The Prince served as Minister of Defence for ten years from 1968 to 1978. According to Islamic tradition, he was buried later on Saturday at the Al-Oud Cemetery.
His brother, King Salman, will receive condolences for the next three days, which began on Saturday evening. Notes of condolences have already been sent to the King from leaders and public servants. Notable condolences have come from His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Emir of Abu Dhabi; His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Emir of Dubai; and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Heartbreaking images surfaced online yesterday of a very emotional King Salman leading the funeral prayers for his late brother at Imam Turki bin Abdullah Mosque in Riyadh. Prince Sultan bin Salman told AlArabiya.net that “Prince Turki’s death marks a big loss for Saudi Arabia for the nationalistic and noble principles that he stood for.”
Prince Turki married twice. He left his first wife, Noura bint Abdallah bin Abdul Rahman, to marry Hind Al Fassi. She was a member of the Saudi Arabian al-Fassi family, and a daughter of Sheikh Shams ed-din Al Fassi, a Sufi religious leader of the Shadhili order.
Prince Turki refused to divorce his second wife. He lost his government position in 1978 and his ‘candidacy’ for the Saudi throne. He and his second wife went into a self-imposed exile in Cairo, Egypt, in the 1970s. Prince Turki only returned to Saudi Arabia in 2011 a year after her death at the age of 57.
The statement released by the Palace didn’t indicate the Prince’s cause of death. Royal Central will stay on top of this story if more news becomes available.