International royalsSaudi Arabia

Deposed Saudi Crown Prince confined to Palace

The deposed Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Muhammed bin Nayef, has reportedly been confined to his Palace in the city of Jeddah, as his successor consolidates his newfound power. Muhammed bin Nayef was replaced as Crown Prince by Mohammed bin Salman, the 31-year-old son of King Salman of Saudi Arabia, by his third wife, Fahda bint Falah bin Sultan bin Hathleen.

Muhammed bin Nayef was the nephew of King Salman and a grandson of Ibn Saud, the first monarch and founder of Saudi Arabia. Muhammed bin Nayed is married to Reema bint Sultan Al Saud, his first cousin, and they have two daughters. He has so far survived four assassination attempts, being only slightly hurt in the third attack.

It was denied by senior Saudi officials that Muhammed bin Nayef was under house arrested, with one official saying, “It’s just in the changeover period. MBS [bin Salman] does not want to take any risks. It is not house arrest. Nothing like that at all.”

Muhammed bin Nayed was one of the most influential security officials, and he maintained close intelligence connections with the United States and the United Kingdom. In order to maintain an image of a peaceful power transition, the House of Saud released a video showing Mohammed bin Salman kissing the hand of Muhammed bin Nayef after he was named Crown Prince.

“It was that a younger man wanted the job and the older man didn’t like it. Things never broke down, but it became clear that the king’s son had the profile and status that the crown prince should have had. Everyone could see that”, the official added.

Muhammed bin Nayef and his family were understood to have been prevented from leaving Saudi Arabia. The official stated, “If he is seen as benign, this will change quite quickly. I suspect they don’t want him jetting off to Washington in a bad mood and telling anyone, even our allies, the state secrets. There is too much risk in letting a disgruntled figure talk at a time like this.”