Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, the king’s heir apparent prince of Saudi Arabia passed away Saturday morning local time.
Prince Sultan, 86 years, since last June in the United States to recuperate. Aside from being a potential heir to the throne of the country’s largest oil exporter in the world, Prince Sultan has also served as minister of defense and aviation for about four decades.
“With deep sorrow, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz announced the death of the brother and the royal prince, Prince Sultan, who died Saturday morning outside the kingdom because of illness he suffered,” said an official statement of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as quoted by Reuters, October 22 2011.
The funeral will be held in Riyadh, the Saudi capital on Tuesday, next. Chance, who replaced Prince Sultan as a potential heir to the throne is the king of Saudi Arabia Prince Nayef, who is now serving as interior minister and served as second deputy prime minister since 2009. King of Saudi Arabia himself, ie, King Abdullah has now 87 years old.
He had undergone back surgery earlier this month, however, since it seems his health has improved. At 3 months in late 2010, he was sidelined after being treated due to accumulation of blood around the spine. Prince Nayef, who is now aged 78 has a reputation as a leader who is more conservative than the Arab kings and princes Arabs today.
Unlike the kingdoms in Europe, the path of leadership succession in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not descend from father to eldest son, but the switch in the line of brothers who were born of the descendants of Muhammad ibn Saud, the Arab king who died in 1953 ago.