|The Saudi family tree consists of at least six distinct
branches that trace their heritage back to an 18th century
founder. The "Royal" branch of the family draws its lineage
through each generation's leading chieftan within the descendants
of Saud, denoted below in blue, through the kingdom's modern
founder, Abd al-Aziz.
Only descedandants of this "Royal" line are considered candidates
of the throne. The other, non-royal branches of the family are
referred to as "Cadet"
branches. Abd al-Aziz broke with family tradition by decreeing
that leadership would pass among his sons by eldest and most
qualified, rather than continue to pass directly from father to
son. (Click on the name of any family member below to view his
individual family tree.)
Cadet, or non-royal, branches of the family (marked above in
beige) were formed by members of the family who broke from the
others due to rifts over succession or brothers of a chieftan who
often allied themselves and their families with his cause.
Today, members of the Cadet branches of the Al Saud hold high
ranking and sensitive postions in the Saudi government, but they
are not in line to the throne. Thus, Cadet branch members of
the Al Saud take the title, "His Highness" or "Prince" but never
"His Royal Highness" which is reserved for members of Abd al-Aziz
line of the family.
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