Anyway over the weekend, I had learned that a member of the royal family and heir to the thrown had passed away. Time takes a look at the new heir apparent!
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced on Monday that Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud would be the new heir to the throne, after the sudden death of previous Crown Prince Nayef on Saturday. Prince Salman’s elevation to the next in line to the throne was not entirely unexpected—as a well respected Minister of Defense and half brother to the current king, he was one of the top choices—but as the dust settles over this latest transition, Saudis and Saudi-watchers alike will be fervently hoping that this time the new crown prince will stick around long enough to make it to the throne. Salman, who is 75, is the third prince to be appointed heir to King Abdullah, 87, since he came to power in 2005. Saudi Arabia, already threatened with fallout from the Arab spring lapping at its authoritarian shores, can little afford the instability that interrupted lines of succession might bring.OK, so let's remember Saudi Arabia is considered an ally! It's probably in our best interest for there to be a favorable regime there. That means the Saud family must remain in power even if they have to make concessions to the "Arab spring". Slowly if at all, Saudia Arabia will gradually move out of it's religious monarchy as the dominant religion there is Wahhabi Islam.
And as long as the rest of the world depends on Saudi oil, few nations will want to see anything but a steady hand at its helm.
Salman, who has no known health issues beyond a bad back, is likely to be that reassuring presence, especially with King Abdullah’s inevitable decline into very old age. “A Saudi crown prince has more power and influence than an American Vice President,” says historian Robert Lacey, author of two books on the Saudi royal family. “And if the king is incapacitated, the channels of power run through the Crown Prince.”