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International royalsSaudi Arabia

Saudi King’s brother, Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has died

US Secretary of State/Public Domain

It has been announced in Saudi Arabia, that Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz has passed away. The 87-year-old Prince was the half-brother of King Salman, and it was announced by the Royal Court that prayers would be said for him at the Royal Palace in Riyadh. His son, Prince Abdulaziz bin Talal announced the family would be accepting condolences from Sunday until Tuesday, between sunset and evening prayers.

The Prince died on 22 December, and his son said on Twitter, “The Prince Talal bin Abdul Aziz has passed away on Saturday. May God forgive him and grant him heaven.”

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عين الله ترعاك

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His relationship with the rest of his family was not always the best, and after creating the Ministry of Communications in the time of King Abdul Aziz in the early 1950s, he became one of the wealthiest princes. However, the Ministry was mired in controversy and accusations of bribery, and he resigned in 1955. In 1962, under King Saud, he became Minister of Finance and National Economy, but he was forced to resign by the King some months later after making suggestions that Saudi Arabia should become a constitutional monarchy. After some of his palaces were searched whilst he was abroad, he became estranged from the court until his mother stepped in and resolved the situation. He was also the leader of the Free Princes Movement in Saudi Arabia and had a liberal stance wanting a national constitution for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

After his political career, the Prince devoted a lot of his time and energy to working for various branches of the United Nations within the Gulf region. He spent some time as Chairman of the Arab Gulf Program For The United Nations Development (AGFUND). Whilst working with this fund, which helped socio-economic development across the region, he was not only was on the trustees for NGO’s based in Cairo but also worked to promote the training of women. Additionally, he was able to secure a lot of financial support for UNICEF which made him their Special Envoy in 1980. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, he also worked with UNESCO on a clean water project in the region.

The Prince, who was born on 15 August 1931, was married four times and had fifteen children, though sadly one, Faisal, died in 1991; one of his daughters, Sara, claimed political asylum in the UK in 2012.