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Saudi Arabia

King of Saudi Arabia names son as new Crown Prince

His Majesty King Salman of Saudi Arabia has named his 31-year-old son, Mohammed bin Salman as Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. Mohammed replaces the King’s nephew as His Majesty’s heir.

The announcement came just after midnight through a royal decree sent out to the Saudi Press Agency. It shocked the Saudi establishment, although some others had suspected that the changed was coming. Mohammed bin Salman’s profile has soared over the past few years, but many in the establishment assumed former-Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef’s role was secure.

The future monarch will now serve as the Deputy Prime Minister and, according to Reuters, will retain “defence, oil and other portfolios.”

The new Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. Photo: Mohammed Bin Salman al-Saud’s Office (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Wikimedia Commons

The royal decree also explained that the promotion of King Salman’s son was endorsed by 31 out of 34 members of the Allegiance Council. This council is made up of senior members of the Saudi Royal Family.

A senior official in the Middle Eastern kingdom explained that the choice was due to “special circumstances” that were presented to the council.

In a letter sent to His Majesty, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef told the King that he supported the decision.

A professor at Princeton University, Bernard Haykel, told Reuters that His Majesty made this change as a way to explicitly set the line of succession to the throne to avoid a power struggle later on between his son and nephew.

He said, “It’s clearly a transition that has happened smoothly and bloodlessly … There’s going to be much more clarity on the issue of succession now. There was a bit of messiness before with everyone guessing what was going to happen. Now it’s clear; it’s straightforward. That kind of clarity lowers the risk; there’s no question as to who’s going to be in charge.”

About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. She's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites including Global News Canada, ABC News Australia, WION India and BBC World News.