The Saudi King announced a surprise reshuffle at the top of Saudi Arabia’s royal hierarchy, the country’s king has removed his nephew as crown prince in favor of his son, Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz.
King Salman’s order also means Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 31, will become deputy prime minister while continuing as defense minister.
The 31-year-old has been appointed deputy prime minister and will continue in his role as defense minister, according to a royal decree cited by state media.
Saudi Arabia has typically been ruled by kings in their 70s or 80s.
Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s rapid ascent is seen by the younger generation as a sign that things are changing.
Key reform policies currently in place — such as the Vision 2030 plan and a planned IPO by Saudi oil giant Aramco — were already being driven by him.
Even as deputy crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman has been responsible for running Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, dictating an energy policy with global implications and spearheading plans for the kingdom to build an economic future after oil.
Saudi Arabia is the largest exporter of Oil and the changes in the hierarchy is closely watched by the world.