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Feature Article

By Senior Analyst Talal Kapoor

The daring daylight robbery of a playboy prince in Paris has become an embarrassment not only to France, coming just before the visit of Crown Prince Salman, and on the heels of a number of high-profile robberies, but to the royal families of the Gulf, as the media spotlight shines on their often vulgar and "blingtastic" ways abroad.
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Commentary
King Abdallah: A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing? (Part One)

King Abdallah has worked to place his own sons in positions of power and influence, much as the late King Saud did for his progeny. During Saud's reign, it was thought that the king was preparing the ground for one of his sons to take the throne after him, altering the rules of succession. Could the same charge be levelled against Abdallah now?
Khalid al-Tuwayjri - The "Uncrowned King"?

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?
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?
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