A day in the life of Ibn Saud (1)
A day in the life of Ibn Saud (1)

Mohammed Almana (Ibn Saud’s Chief Translator and Interpreter 1926-1935), in Arabia Unified, (pp 176-180) describes a typical working day for Ibn Saud:

A typical working day at the palace would start for the King at about 8 a.m., when the Chief Chamberlain would announce to him the names of the people who had come to see him that day with petitions or particular matters they wished to raise with him. Everybody who wished to see the King had first to arrange it with the Chamberlain, although in practice His Majesty saw almost everybody who wished to speak to him. The King would first hold a small majlis for those whose business was of some importance. Visitors were introduced to him one by one in order of their priority and prominence. After the most important callers had been dealt with and the visitors had begun to thin out, His Majesty would start to deal with day’s correspondence. After this the King held his general majlis. Anybody could attend and there were usually between eighty and one hundred and thirty people present. His Majesty would first recite a verse from the Holy Qur'an and present an interpretation of it. He would then choose some topic of national importance and speak about it for a time to the assembled company. Finally he would invite questions, whereupon the visitors were free to ask him about anything they liked. The proceedings were rather like a modern press conference, except that they were far less impersonal. The King had a remarkable ability to grasp instantly the important points of any question which was asked of him and was always able to give an immediate and full reply in a few well-chosen sentences. In this way, each man could leave satisfied that he had received King’s personal attention.

King Abdul Aziz (Ibn Saud) sitting amidst some members of his court, Riyadh, 1942. Click to view high resolution version

King Abdul Aziz (Ibn Saud) sitting amidst some members of his court, Riyadh, 1942