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By Senior Analyst Talal Kapoor

Often spoken of as a "power behind the throne", the king's close adviser Khalid al-Tuwayjri plays an important role as gatekeeper to the Royal Court, but has often been fiercely criticized for his supposed influence in royal family politics. But is al-Tuwayjri really an "uncrowned king", or is it more a case of some members of the royal family venting their displeasure at a non-royal's rise to power?
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Islamic Community News
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The Next Generation - Passive Bystanders or Partners in Power?

The king has moved to place his own sons in positions of power and influence, while at the same time the sons of former kings and crown princes are being pushed aside. The notable exception is the sons of Nayif. Are they too strong to remove, or have they allied themselves with the current leadership to extract later advantage?
The King's Daughters - Hostages or Seeking Martyrdom?

Four daughters of King Abdallah claim to have been held against their will for over a decade, while their mother, a former wife of the king, campaigns for their release. But the issue is far more complex than meets the eye.
Prince Muqrin and the Succession: Marking Time?

The appointment of Prince Muqrin as heir to the crown prince is a remarkable innovation, ensuring political stability for the near term while delaying yet again the difficult decision over the transfer of power to the next generation of princes. But is the real object to line up the king's son Mit'ab for a place in future succession?
Crown Prince Salman's Maldives Holiday - Business or Pleasure?

Crown Prince Salman's official visit to the Maldives generated controversy after it was revealed that he had fully booked three private resort islands for himself and a large entourage, forcing other holidaymakers to make cancel their holiday plans.
A Shift In Saudi Foreign Policy - Doubling Down On Iran?

As the Syrian civil war drags on, the royal family has reigned in Bandar bin Sultan and his efforts to orchestrate a victory for Sunni rebels, as alarm builds at home over the potential for serious blowback from returning jihadis. With the Muslim Brotherhood crushed in Egypt, and frayed relations with the United States on the mend, the royals can let events in Syria run their course while they turn their attention to arch-rival Iran.
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