“At the beginning of March 1964, Western analysts assessed that the greatest threat to the Saudi monarchy was posed by none other than the Saudi royal family itself.”
On 2 November 1964, King Said bin Abdulaziz Al Saud was deposed by the royal family in favour of his younger brother Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. During this period, Saudi Arabia was considered as a ‘kingdom without a king.’ King Said was impeached because of his extensive reform programmes and extravagance.
In 2017, the Kingdom again appears to be without a king where Muhammad bin Salman, the Crown Prince, is the real power behind the throne whereas King Salman bin Abdulaziz is merely a figurehead. There exists a great resentment among the royal family against the Salman branch because King Salman has broken a commonly held tradition in which the eldest member of the family was nominated as the ruler of the kingdom.
The recent developments in the kingdom are of greater concern for the international community because the international community cannot allow a change in the balance of power in the Middle East that may threaten the sovereignty of Israel or continuous supply of oil.