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Hussa bint Ahmed Al Sudairi (1900–1969) was one of the many spouses and cousins of King Abdulaziz and the mother of King Fahd and King Salman, monarchs of Saudi Arabia.[1][2] Her sons Sultan, Nayef, and Salman served successively as Crown Prince during their half-brother Abdullah's reign, as their brother Fahd had done during the reign of Khalid, another half-brother. Her adult sons are informally known as the "Sudairi Seven".

Hussa Al Sudairi
Born1900[citation needed]
SpouseMuhammad bin Abdul-Rahman
King Abdulaziz
IssuePrince Abdullah
King Fahd
Prince Sultan
Princess Luluwah
Prince Abdul Rahman
Prince Nayef
Prince Turki
King Salman
Prince Ahmed
Princess Latifa
Princess Al Jawhara
Princess Jawahir
Full name
Hussa bint Ahmed bin Mohammad Al Sudairi
HouseHouse of Sudairi (by birth)
House of Saud (by marriage)
FatherAhmed bin Muhammad Al Sudairi
MotherSharifa bint Ali bin Mohammed Al Suwaidi



Hussa (or Hassa) bint Ahmed was a member of the influential Al Sudairi family from Najd.[3] The family are part of the noble Dawasir tribe.[4] The mother of King Abdulaziz, Sarah Al Sudairi,[5] was also a member of the Sudairi family[6] and daughter of Hussa's great-grandfather Ahmed the Great bin Muhammad al-Sudairi.

Hussa's father, Ahmed bin Muhammed Al Sudairi (1869–1936), was a powerful chief of the Sudairi tribe[7] and one of the early supporters of King Abdulaziz during the latter's attempts to conquer Saudi Arabia.[8][9] Following the formation of the state, her father served as governor in Washm, Sudair, Qassim and Aflaj provinces.[10] Her brothers were also appointed by King Abdulaziz as governors. Turki bin Ahmed was the governor of Asir Province; Abdulaziz bin Ahmed was the governor of the former provinces of Quraiyat al Milh and Wadi Sirhan; Khalid bin Ahmed was the governor of Tabuk Province; Muhammad bin Ahmed was the governor of Northern Province; Abdul Rahman bin Ahmad was the governor of Jauf and Musa'id bin Ahmed was the governor of Jizan Province.[10] Khalid bin Ahmed also served as the governor of Najran Province and also, as the minister of agriculture.[11]

Early years and marriageEdit

Hussa bint Ahmed was born in 1900.[citation needed] King Abdulaziz married her twice.[12] She was his 8th wife, and first cousin once removed via Ahmed Al Kabir bin Mohammed bin Turki Al Sudairi. They first married in 1913 when she was thirteen-years-old. They divorced after a few years, but remarried in 1920.[13] In the period between their first and second marriages, Hussa bint Ahmed married King Abdulaziz’s younger half brother, Muhammad bin Abdul Rahman.[13] Hussa had a son from this marriage, Abdullah bin Mohammad.[14]

It is assumed that Ibn Saud remained in love with Hussa bint Ahmed, and therefore, forced his half-brother to divorce her so that he could remarry her.[15] Hussa bint Ahmed and King Abdulaziz remained married until the latter's death in 1953.[13]


Hussa bint Ahmed and King Abdulaziz had 12 children together, including seven sons.[1][16] No other spouse of King Abdulaziz produced more sons than Hussa Al Sudairi.[17][18] Hussa bint Ahmed became the most valued spouse of King Abdulaziz due to being mother of seven sons.[19] In Arab culture, the most prominent wife is the one who gives birth to the largest number of sons. Therefore, Hussa had the advantage of being a "Mother of Boys."[19]

Their sons are known as the Sudairi Seven (Arabic: عائلةالسديري‎).[20] They were also called the "magnificent seven."[19] Hussa and King Abdulaziz's children are as follows:

Two of her daughters married to Abdullah bin Abdul Rahman's sons, younger brother of King Abdulaziz.[24] Al Jawhara bint Abdulaziz is Khalid bin Abdullah's spouse and Jawahir bint Abdulaziz was Mohammad bin Abdullah's wife.[24] Luluwah bint Abdulaziz is the mother of Abdullah bin Faisal bin Turki.[25]

Personal characteristicsEdit

In addition to being the mother of seven sons, Hussa bint Ahmed had personal characteristics that made her the most valued spouse of King Abdulaziz. Firstly, she was very beautiful and had charm and a strong personality.[19] She was also influential,[26] and attempted to instill a sense of group feeling among her sons.[4] She raised all of her children in a political atmosphere and urged them to spend time together.[27] In addition, she had effects on some decisions of King Abdulaziz.[28] For instance, she urged him to make Prince Fahd a member of his advisory board, and Prince Fahd became a member of the board.[28]

Bandar bin Sultan describes his grandmother, Hussa, as a combination of Margaret Thatcher and Mother Teresa.[29] He further states that she was a very religious yet strongwilled woman.[29]

Her familial relationsEdit

Hussa bint Ahmed is said to have organized daily dinner gatherings at her home for her sons and their families.[30] She supported the idea of unity among her sons through these dinner gatherings.[4] Her daughters are said to have continued her tradition of weekly dinner gatherings.[15] She is reported to have been a demanding person in that she wanted to be visited daily by her sons when they were in Riyadh.[31] She was also known for emphasizing discipline and a driving work ethic in her sons.[32]

Hussa bint Ahmed raised Bandar bin Sultan, the future Saudi ambassador to the United States of America, who was her grandson and a son of the late Sultan bin Abdulaziz. When Prince Bandar was eleven, he and his mother went to live with her in the palace after the death of King Abdulaziz.[29]

Further relations with Al Saud familyEdit

Hussa bint Ahmed's younger sisters married King Abdulaziz's sons. Muhdi bint Ahmed married Prince Nasser and is Turki bin Nasser's mother.[33] Another sister, Sultana bint Ahmed, was King Faisal's first wife and Abdullah Al Faisal's mother.[8]


Hussa bint Ahmed died in 1969 400 Elm St.[30] at the age of 69.[failed verification]


  1. ^ a b Hedwig Backman, Karen (16 June 2012). "Born of Hassa bint Ahmad Al Sudairi". Daily Kos. Retrieved 24 October 2012.[unreliable source?]
  2. ^ Mackey, Sandra (6 August 2005). "Next step critical as Saudi princes jostle for position". SMH. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
  3. ^ Al Alawi, Irfan (24 October 2011). "Saudi Arabia – The Shadow of Prince Nayef". Center for Islamic Pluralism. Archived from the original on 11 December 2012. Retrieved 24 April 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  4. ^ a b c Herb, Michael (1999). All in the family. Albany: State University of New York Press. p. 102. ISBN 978-0-7914-4168-8.
  5. ^ "King Abdulaziz' Noble Character" (PDF). Islam House. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
  6. ^ Abir, Mordechai (April 1987). "The Consolidation of the Ruling Class and the New Elites in Saudi Arabia". Middle Eastern Studies. 23 (2): 150–171. doi:10.1080/00263208708700697. JSTOR 4283169.
  7. ^ Mahmoud, Aly (14 June 1982). "Saudis switch power smoothly". The Miami News. Nicosia. AP. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  8. ^ a b Kechichian, Joseph A. (2001). Succession in Saudi Arabia. New York: Palgrave. ISBN 9780312238803.
  9. ^ Henderson, Simon (1994). "After King Fahd" (Policy Paper). Washington Institute. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  10. ^ a b "Sultana bint Ahmed bin Muhammad Al Sudairi". Datarabia. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
  11. ^ "Saudi women traveling solo can now stay in hotels". Newswit. 22 January 2008. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  12. ^ Allen, Robin (1 August 2005). "Obituary: King Fahd – A forceful but flawed ruler". Financial Times. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  13. ^ a b c Mark Weston (28 July 2008). Prophets and Princes: Saudi Arabia from Muhammad to the Present. John Wiley & Sons. p. 129. ISBN 978-0-470-18257-4. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  14. ^ Al Mulhim, Abdulateef (24 April 2013). "Prince Fahd bin Abdullah: An admiral and a desert lover". Arab News. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
  15. ^ a b Stenslie, Stig (2011). "Power Behind the Veil: Princesses of House of Saud". Journal of Arabian Studies: Arabia, the Gulf, and the Red Sea. 1 (1): 69–79. doi:10.1080/21534764.2011.576050.
  16. ^ Winberg Chai (22 September 2005). Saudi Arabia: A Modern Reader. University Press. p. 193. ISBN 978-0-88093-859-4. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  17. ^ "Saudi Succession Crisis". The National Security Council. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  18. ^ Reginato, James. "The Saudi Princess and the Multi-Million Dollar Shopping Spree". Vanity Fair. Conde Nast. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  19. ^ a b c d Taheri, Amir (2012). "Saudi Arabia: Change Begins within the Family". The Journal of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy. 34 (3): 138–143. doi:10.1080/10803920.2012.686725.
  20. ^ "Who's who: Senior Saudis". BBC. 30 October 2007. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  21. ^ "زوجات الملك عبدالعزيز..تاريخ يحكي تقديم الرجال إلى "منصة المسؤولية"". جريدة الرياض (in Arabic). Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  22. ^ "Royal Court: Prince Turki bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Died". Saudi Press Agency. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  23. ^ "Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Performs Funeral Prayer on Soul of Princess Jawaher bint Abdulaziz". Al Riyadh. 6 June 2015. Retrieved 22 April 2016.[permanent dead link]
  24. ^ a b Sabri, Sharaf (2001). The House of Saud in commerce: A study of royal entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia. New Delhi: I.S. Publications. ISBN 978-81-901254-0-6.
  25. ^ "About the Bin Laden family". PBS. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  26. ^ "Prince Salman Named Saudi 'Crown Prince'". Arab Times. Riyadh. 18 June 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  27. ^ "The Political Leadership – King Fahd". APS Review Gas Market Trends. 29 November 1999. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  28. ^ a b Martin, Douglas (2 August 2005). "King Fahd, 82, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  29. ^ a b c Walsh, Elsa (24 March 2003). "The prince" (PDF). The New Yorker. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 January 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  30. ^ a b "King Fahd". The Telegraph. 2 August 2005. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  31. ^ Reich, Bernard (1990). Political leaders of the contemporary Middle East and North Africa: A bibliographical dictionary. Greenwood Press. ISBN 9780313262135.
  32. ^ Knickmeyer, Ellen (16 June 2012). "Saudi Arabia's Enforcer of Internal Security". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  33. ^ "His Royal Highness Prince Turki bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz al Saud". Archived from the original on 3 November 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)