Royalty in Saudi Arabia
The monarchs of Saudi Arabia since the kingdom's founding in 1932:
(also known as Ibn Saud)
(son of King Abdul Aziz)
Reigned 1953-1964; deposed
(son of King Abdul Aziz)
Reigned 1964-1975; assassinated
(son of King Abdul Aziz)
(son of King Abdul Aziz)
(son of King Abdul Aziz)
This is an archive of past news. For the most current royal news, visit the Royalty.nu News page.
September 1, 2014
August 30, 2014
August 21, 2014
August 18, 2014
August 11, 2014
August 3, 2014
August 1, 2014
July 11, 2014
June 28, 2014
June 26, 2014
June 20, 2014
May 20, 2014
April 22, 2014
Alwaleed: Businessman, Billionaire, Prince by Riz Khan
April 21, 2014
April 19, 2014
April 16, 2014
April 15, 2014
April 2, 2014
March 30, 2014
March 28, 2014
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Salman (right) greets US president Barack Obama
Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
March 24, 2014
March 18, 2014
March 13, 2014
March 10, 2014
March 8, 2014
February 28, 2014
February 26, 2014
February 22, 2014
February 21, 2014
February 19, 2014
January 2, 2014
Unless otherwise noted, these books are for sale at Amazon.com. Your purchase through these links will result in a commission for the owner of the Royalty.nu site.
On Saudi Arabia: Its People, Past, Religion, Fault Lines - and Future by Karen Elliot House. The author interviewed key members of the very private royal family. She writes about King Abdullah's modest efforts to relax social restrictions, and what the next generation of royal princes might bring as the kingdom faces its precarious future. Published in 2012.
Inside the Kingdom: Kings, Clerics, Modernists, Terrorists, and the Struggle for Saudi Arabia by Robert Lacey. How the 1970s oil boom produced a society at war with itself. This is a 2010 book, not a revision of Lacey's 1981 book about Saudi Arabia (see below)
The Kingdom by Robert Lacey. Banned in Saudi Arabia, this is the inside story of the royal family's private scandals and public excesses. Published in 1983. Out of print, but available from Alibris.
The Two Faces of Islam: The House of Sa'ud From Tradition to Terror by Stephen Schwartz. Traces the rise of the puritanical variant of Islam known as Wahhabism and its symbiotic bond with the House of Saud. The paperback edition is subtitled "Saudi Fundamentalism and Its Role in Terrorism."
The Battle for Saudi Arabia: Royalty, Fundamentalism, and Global Power by As'ad Abukhalil. Examines Saudi society, history, religion, and ethnic tribalism.
Saudi Arabia: King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz Handbook by International Business Publications USA.
The Saudi File: People, Power, Politics by Anders Jerichow. Comprehensive collection of primary source documents on the elements of state power in Saudi Arabia, including laws, royal decrees, and international reports.
The Rise, Corruption and Coming Fall of the House of Saud by Said K. Aburish. The author says the USA is committed to keeping a king on the Saudi Arabian throne who will ensure that the oil continues to flow. Published in 1995.
The House of Saud: The Rise & Rule of the Most Powerful Dynasty in the Arab World by David Holden and Richard Johns. Published in 1982.
The Saudi Royal Family by Brenda Lange, Jennifer Bond Reed. Nonfiction for young adult readers.
From Arab Nationalism to OPEC by Nathan J. Citino examines how the relationship of King Sa'ud and President Eisenhower affected U.S.-Saudi relations.
The Oil Kings: How the U.S., Iran, and Saudi Arabia Changed the Balance of Power in the Middle East by Andrew Scott Cooper. How the U.S., the last shah of Iran, and the Saudi royal family maneuvered to control events in the Middle East in the 1970s.
Princes, Brokers, and Bureaucrats: Oil and the State in Saudi Arabia by Steffen Hertog. How the elite rivalries and whims of the mid-20th century have shaped the modern Saudi state and fragmented it into uncoordinated fiefdoms.
Sleeping With the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude by Robert Baer. Alleges that the royal family spends staggering amounts of money to influence American politicians and dissuade militant Islamic groups from overthrowing the monarchy.
House of Bush, House of Saud: The Secret Relationship Between the World's Two Most Powerful Dynasties by Craig Unger. Investigates the 30-year relationship between the Bush family and the Saudi royal family, and its impact on America.
Intelligence Matters by Senator Bob Graham. Alleges that a funding chain for terrorism led to the Saudi royal family. The author spent 10 years on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and co-chaired the House-Senate Joint Inquiry into the intelligence community's failures prior to 9/11.
Secrets of the Kingdom: The Inside Story of the Secret Saudi-U.S. Connection by Gerald Posner. Reveals the ties that bind the Saudi and U.S. governments, including preferential treatment to prominent Saudis living in the United States after 9/11, and a "likely close connection" between a powerful member of the House of Saud and al-Qaeda.
Why America Slept: The Failure to Prevent 9/11 by Gerald Posner. Includes allegations that members of the Saudi royal family were linked to terrorists.
Plan of Attack: The Road to War by Bob Woodward. Alleges that Saudi Arabia's Prince Bandar bin Sultan knew about top-secret U.S. plans to attack Iraq before Secretary of State Colin Powell did, and that the prince promised to manipulate oil prices to help President Bush get re-elected.
Desert Warrior: A Personal View of the Gulf War by the Joint Forces Commander by Prince Khaled Bin Sultan with Patrick Seale. The author, a nephew of King Fahd, tells the story of his life, from his years growing up in desert kingdom to his role as a leader in the U.S.'s 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War against Iraq. Out of print, but available from Alibris.
The Prince: The Secret Story of the World's Most Intriguing Royal, Prince Bandar bin Sultan by William Simpson. Biography of Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, who was ambassador to the United States from 1983-2005. The author is the prince's college friend. Preface by Nelson Mandela; foreword by Margaret Thatcher.
The King's Messenger: Prince Bandar bin Sultan and America's Tangled Relationship With Saudi Arabia by David B. Ottaway. For decades, the complex relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia centered around Prince Bandar, Saudi ambassador to the U.S.
Regime Stability in Saudi Arabia: The Challenge of Succession by Stig Stenslie. Provides insight into the issues facing the royal family and ruling elite. Published in 2011.
Succession in Saudi Arabia by Joseph A. Kechichian. Identifies individuals with greatest leadership potential; examines their political, social, and religious perceptions; and evaluates the criteria for the survival of the ruling family. Published in 2001.
After King Fahd by Simon Henderson is about the royal succession in Saudi Arabia. Published in 1994.
A History of Saudi Arabia by Madawi al-Rasheed. Covers Saudi Arabia's history from the age of emirates to the present day.
Saudi Arabia Exposed: Inside a Kingdom in Crisis by John R. Bradley. From the homes of royalty to the slums of the poorest inhabitants, this book reveals Saudi Arabia's regional, religious, and tribal rivalries, offering a startling look at the present predicament and a troubling view of the future.
The Saudis: Inside the Desert Kingdom by Sandra Mackey. Offers a glimpse into Saudi social and public life, revealing a country grappling with modernity and battling to maintain its stance in the world.
Saudi Arabia: From Bedouin Beginnings to Modern Kingdom by Gene Lindsey. Overview of the culture, history, evolution and development of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by David E. Long. Discusses the people, their religion, culture, history, politics, economics, and foreign policy.
Prophets and Princes: Saudi Arabia From Muhammad to the Present by Mark Weston. A balanced history of a complex society where citizens who seek a constitutional monarchy can petition the king without fear of reprisal.
Ibn Saud: The Desert Warrior and His Legacy by Michael Darlow and Barbara Bray. After living the harsh traditional life of the desert nomad, Ibn Saud won a series of astonishing military victories between 1902 and 1930, transforming himself from a minor sheikh into the revered first king of Saudi Arabia.
Ibn Saud: King by Conquest by Nestor Sander. Biography of the founder of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Lord of Arabia: Ibn Saud: An Intimate Study of a King by H. C. Armstrong. Another biography of King Ibn Saud.
The Ottoman Gulf: The Creation of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, 1870-1914 by Frederick Fallowfield Anscombe examines the role the Ottoman Empire played in the creation of modern Gulf states.
The Rise and Fall of the Hashimite Kingdom of Arabia by Joshua Teitelbaum. The Hashemite Kingdom of Arabia was forged during the First World War. Its leader, Sharif Husayn ibn 'Ali, proclaimed himself king of the Arab countries, but the Allies recognised him only as king of the Hijaz. His nemesis Ibn Saud defeated him in 1925.
Faisal: King of Saudi Arabia by Gerald De Gaury. This biography places King Faisal's life story in context of the Middle East and the world.
Faysal: Saudi Arabia's King for All Seasons by Joseph Kechichian. The first biography of King Faysal to make use of interviews and key documents.
King Faisal of Saudi Arabia: Personality, Faith and Times by Alexei Vassiliev. Biography of a pious, cautious, and resolute leader who steered Saudi Arabia through a minefield of problems from 1964 to 1975.
Alwaleed: Businessman, Billionaire, Prince by Riz Khan. Biography of Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who was ranked by Forbes magazine in 2005 as the fifth richest person in the world.
Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia by Jean P. Sasson. This biography of a member of the Saudi royal family, called Princess Sultana to disguise her identity, exposes the harsh reality of life in a country where even royal women are despised and oppressed. Fascinating.
Princess Sultana's Daughters by Jean Sasson turns the spotlight on Princess Sultana's teenage daughters. (Sometimes titled "Daughters of Arabia.")
Princess Sultana's Circle by Jean P. Sasson. Another book in Sasson's series about the lives of Saudi royal women. (This book is also sometimes titled "Desert Royal.")
Princess: More Tears to Cry by Jean Sasson. Princess Sultana speaks frankly about her strong-willed daughters, her beloved husband, and the royal Al-Saud family, whose battles about what it means to be a woman mirror those of Saudi society. Published in 2014.
Driving the Saudis: A Chauffeur's Tale of the World's Richest Princesses by Jayne Amelia Larson. The author worked as a driver for Saudi royal family members vacationing in Beverly Hills.
Desert Governess by Phyllis Ellis is about an Englishwoman's personal experience with the Saudi royal family.
These DVDs are formatted for North American audiences.
Frontline: Black Money. This 2009 PBS documentary alleges Saudi royal connection to corporate corruption. (See the "Other Websites" list below for a link to watch this show online.)
Charlie Rose With Alwaleed bin Talal. An hour-long interview with Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the richest men in the world and a grandson of the founding king of Saudi Arabia.
An Exposé of the Saudi Arabian Prince: Alwaleed - Billionaire & Businessman. Directed by Riz Khan.
Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia