In January 2015, power in Saudi Arabia passed to King Salman ibn Abdulaziz. He is the half-brother of the late monarch - Abdullah. Both rulers are the sons of Ibn Saud, the first king and founder of this state. Given the advanced age of Salman, who was born in 1935, the country is actually ruled by Crown Prince Mohammed, his eldest son from his third marriage. In this case, whoever is in power, the private life of all members of the royal family is hidden from prying eyes.
Who really rules the country
King Salman ascended the throne in January 2015, and less than a year later, the press began writing about possible attempts to overthrow the government in the country. According to rumors, other heirs of Ibn Saud, who survived at the time of the death of King Abdullah, considered his official successor incapable of running the state. The reason for this mistrust lay in the serious health problems of the monarch: he suffered a stroke and suffers from Alzheimer's disease. For less than a year of rule, Salman disappointed his brothers with ambiguous decisions, in particular, the escalation of the armed conflict in Yemen and another catastrophe during the Hajj. Also, the International Monetary Fund released data on the decrease in financial assets of Saudi Arabia against the backdrop of cheap oil and a protracted war in the region.
Initially, King Salman appointed his nephew Muhammad ibn Nayef as his successor, and his son Muhammad ibn Salman as his deputy. However, in June 2017, the monarch changed the order of inheritance. His decision was supported by the majority of the members of the Allegiance Council, consisting of representatives of the Al Saud clan. According to the new decree of Salman, the son of Muhammad will ascend to the throne after his death.
The Crown Prince plays a key role in Saudi Arabia during his father's lifetime. He is in charge of the most important departments of the country: the Ministry of Defense, the Council for Economic Affairs, the entire cabinet of ministers. No wonder Muhammad ibn Salman is called "the power behind the throne." It is said that no king's decision or appeal goes through without the approval of his son. Western partners also recognize the existing order of government, so the prince represents the interests of the country in foreign trips and tours. In particular, he negotiated with Presidents Obama and Trump during official visits to the United States.
On the one hand, Prince Mohammed has an aggressive foreign policy towards Yemen and Iran. Under him, the country was drawn into conflicts with Qatar, Lebanon, Canada. But in his homeland, the heir is also known as a progressive reformer. He greatly expanded the rights of women: he allowed them to drive, provided them with more opportunities to work. Sports stadiums have appeared in Saudi Arabia, which can be visited by women. In addition, local singers were allowed to give public concerts. But what about the rights of women in the royal family?
King Salman's wife
The life of the wives of the first persons of the monarchy is shrouded in mystery. They do not accompany their husbands on trips or official receptions. As a result, their photos are nowhere to be found. But thanks to information leaks appearing in the foreign press, you can find out interesting details about the family life of key figures in the state.
According to official figures, King Salman married three times. His eldest wife Sultana bint Turki died in 2011. Two sons from their first marriage are also dead, including the eldest. The monarch is divorced from his second wife Sarah bint Faisal. They have only one child in common - Prince Saud. The greatest influence on the king had the third wife - Fahda bint Falah, who was his only companion in life at the time of accession to the throne.
True, if you believe the reports of American intelligence, the wife of the monarch opposed the seizure of power by her eldest son Muhammad. She believed that this could lead to a split in the royal family. Therefore, the crown prince placed her under house arrest without her father's knowledge. King Salman was told that his wife was out of the country for treatment. Fahda bint Falah was isolated from her husband for about two years until her son accumulated enough power and influence. Naturally, the Saudi Arabian authorities denied these reports.
The wife of the future king Muhammad
The crown prince's only wife is no better off. He tied the knot with Princess Sarah bint Mashhur in 2008. The couple is known to have four children. Anonymous sources close to the royal family told reporters about Prince Mohammed's domestic violence against his wife. The famous women's rights activist turns into a cruel tyrant behind the closed doors of his own home.
This information was confirmed by Briton Mark Young, who worked in the royal guard for more than 15 years. He told about his experience in the book "Saudi Bodyguard". According to Young, the crown prince suffers from anxiety disorder, and in moments of exacerbation, unleashes his anger on the servants and wife. Princess Sarah has repeatedly ended up in the hospital as a result of domestic violence. She even thought about divorcing her husband, but her mother managed to convince her. By the way, psychological problems are indirectly confirmed by the video where Prince Mohammed has a facial tic.
Mark Young also confirmed rumors of his mother Fahda's house arrest. In addition, he said that the woman believes in witchcraft and black magic. With the help of African sorcerers, she sent spells on the opponents of her husband and son, including the deposed Crown Prince Muhammad ibn Nayef.
Also, anonymous sources claim that, in addition to the official wife of Sarah, Salman's successor has three concubines of common origin.
The improvement in women's rights has so far not been reflected in the public appearance of the wives of Saudi leaders. True, some representatives of the ruling family still travel abroad to support the liberal image of Muhammad ibn Salman.