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Hussa bint Ahmed Al Sudairi

Hussa bint Ahmed Al Sudairi

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
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
Full name
Hussa bint Ahmed bin Mohammad Al Sudairi


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 marriage

Hussa bint Ahmed was born in 1900. 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:

  • Sa'ad (I) Robert Lacey in his book The Kingdom states that Princess Hassa actually mothered Sa'ad Also said by other sources[21]

  • King Fahd (1921–2005), the fifth monarch of Saudi Arabia (13 June 1982 – 1 August 2005)

  • Luluwah bint Abdulaziz (c. 1928–2008)

  • Sultan bin Abdulaziz (1925–2011)

  • Abdul Rahman bin Abdulaziz (1931–2017)

  • Nayef bin Abdulaziz (1934–2012)

  • Turki bin Abdulaziz (1934–2016)[22]

  • King Salman (born 1935), seventh and incumbent monarch of Saudi Arabia (23 January 2015 – present)

  • Ahmed bin Abdulaziz (born 1942)

  • Latifa bint Abdulaziz (deceased)

  • Al Jawhara bint Abdulaziz

  • Jawahir bint Abdulaziz (died June 2015)[23]

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 characteristics

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 relations

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 family

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.


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