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The King of Saudi Arabia is Saudi Arabia's head of state and absolute monarch (i.e. head of government). He serves as the head of the Saudi monarchy —House of Saud. The King is called the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques (خادم الحرمين الشريفين). The title, which signifies Saudi Arabia's jurisdiction over the mosques of Masjid al Haram in Mecca and Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina, replaced His Majesty (صاحب الجلالة) in 1986.
King Abdulaziz (also known as Ibn Saud) began conquering today's Saudi Arabia in 1902, by restoring his family as emirs of Riyadh. He then proceeded to conquer first the Nejd (1922) and then the Hejaz (1925). He progressed from Sultan of Nejd, to King of Hejaz and Nejd, and finally to King of Saudi Arabia in 1932.
The kings since Ibn Saud's death have all been his sons, and all likely immediate successors to the reigning King Salman will be from his progeny. Sons of Ibn Saud are considered to have primary claim on the throne of Saudi Arabia. This makes the Saudi monarchy quite distinct from Western monarchies, which usually feature large, clearly defined royal families and orders of succession. The current Crown Prince is the first grandson of Ibn Saud to be in the line of succession.
The King of Saudi Arabia is also considered the Head of the House of Saud and Prime Minister. The Crown Prince is also the "Deputy Prime Minister". The kings after Faisal have named a "second Deputy Prime Minister" as the subsequent heir after the Crown Prince.
|Name||Lifespan||Reign start||Reign end||Notes||Family||Image|
|Abdulaziz||26 November 1876 – 9 November 1953 (aged 76)||22 September 1932||9 November 1953||Son of Abdul Rahman bin Faisal and Sarah Al Sudairi||Saud|
|Saud||12 January 1902 – 23 February 1969(aged 67)||9 November 1953||2 November 1964|
|Son of Ibn Saud and Wadhah bint Muhammad bin 'Aqab||Saud|
|Faisal||14 April 1906 – 25 March 1975(aged 68)||2 November 1964||25 March 1975|
|Son of Ibn Saud and Tarfa bint Abduallah bin Abdulateef al Sheekh||Saud|
|Khalid||13 February 1913 – 13 June 1982 (aged 69)||25 March 1975||13 June 1982||Son of Ibn Saud and Al Jawhara bint Musaed bin Jiluwi||Saud|
|Fahd||16 March 1921 – 1 August 2005 (aged 84)||13 June 1982||1 August 2005||Son of Ibn Saud and Hassa bint Ahmed Al Sudairi||Saud|
|Abdullah||1 August 1924 – 23 January 2015 (aged 90)||1 August 2005||23 January 2015||Son of Ibn Saud and Fahda bint Asi Al Shuraim||Saud|
|Salman||31 December 1935||23 January 2015||Incumbent||Son of Ibn Saud and Hassa bint Ahmed Al Sudairi||Saud|