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Mourners gather around grave of Saudi King Abdullah

Mourners gathered around the grave of Saudi King Abdullah during his funeral, which was not over elaborate, in keeping with tradition.

Mourners gather around the grave of Saudi King Abdullah following his burial in Riyadh. Credit: Reuters
The grave was not over elaborate - in keeping with tradition. Credit: Reuters

Saudi King Abdullah carried in a simple white shroud

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah was carried in a simple white shroud to an unmarked grave during a funeral in a Riyadh cemetery where many of his commoner subjects rest, in keeping with tradition.

Saudi King Abdullah carried in simple white shroud. Credit: Reuters
There was no official mourning period in Saudi Arabia. Credit: Reuters

The Saudi state school of Wahhabi Sunni Islam holds ostentatious displays of grief or mourning to be sinful.

There was no official mourning period in Saudi Arabia and flags around the kingdom all flew at full staff. Government offices, closed for the Middle East's normal Friday-Saturday weekend, will open as usual on Sunday.


Prince Charles travels to Saudi Arabia after King's death

The Prince of Wales receives King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia at Clarence House in 2007 Credit: PA Wire

The Prince of Wales is travelling to Saudi Arabia today in the wake of King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud death.

A spokesman for the Prince confirmed Charles would travel to Saudi Arabia "to pay his condolences".

Foreign Office flying flag at half-mast for Saudi King

The flag on top of the UK Foreign Office building is flying at half-mast to mark the death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah.

Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Tony Blair issued a statement expressing his "sadness" at the King's death.

Mr Blair described the King as a "stable and sound ally" and he added that he knew the King well and "admired him greatly".

New Saudi King vows same approach as predecessors

Saudi Arabia's King Salman has made his first speech to the country. Credit: Orban Thierry/ABACA/PA

Saudi Arabia's new King Salman has vowed to maintain the same approach as his predecessors in his first address to the nation since he ascended the throne, Reuters reports.

"We will remain, with God's support, maintain the straight path that this country has advanced on since its establishment by the late King Abdulaziz," King Salman said in the speech which was broadcast on state television.

He also called for the unity and solidarity of the Muslim and Arab countries and pledged to serve his country and shield it from any harm.


Prince Salman named new King of Saudi Arabia

Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud has been named as Saudi Arabia's new king. Credit: Orban Thierry/ABACA/PA

Saudi Arabia's new king, Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, is a veteran of the country's leadership after spending nearly 50 years as the governor of the capital Riyadh.

He is also known as a mediator of disputes within the sprawling royal family.

The 79-year-old had increasingly taken on the duties of the king over the past year as his ailing predecessor and half-brother, King Abdullah, became more incapacitated.

He had served as defence minister since 2011 and so was head of the military as Saudi Arabia joined the US, and other Arab countries, in carrying out airstrikes in Syria in 2014 against the Islamic State.

Prince Salman's ascension hands the throne to yet another ageing son of Saudi Arabia's founder, King Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, who is thought to have had more than 50 sons from multiple wives.

Ban Ki-Moon: King Abdullah left a 'tangible legacy'

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has paid tribute to King Abdullah, saying that he left a "tangible legacy" both at home and on the world stage:

King Abdullah made major contributions to the development of the Kingdom. Under his leadership over many decades in different high-level positions in Government, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia achieved remarkable progress and prosperity for its people. The Secretary-General pays tribute to King Abdullah’s efforts to address regional and international challenges at a time of turmoil and rapid change, and to promote dialogue among the world's faiths. As the driving force behind the Arab Peace Initiative, King Abdullah left a tangible legacy that can still point the way toward peace in the Middle East.

– ban ki-moon, un secretary generAL

Cameron 'deeply saddened' by news of King Abdullah's death

David Cameron has said he is "deeply saddened" to hear of the death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

The Prime Minister, who visited Saudi Arabia in 2012, said:

He will be remembered for his long years of service to the Kingdom, for his commitment to peace and for strengthening understanding between faiths.

My thoughts and prayers are with the Saudi Royal Family and the people of the Kingdom at this sad time.

I sincerely hope that the long and deep ties between our two Kingdoms will continue and that we can continue to work together to strengthen peace and prosperity in the world.

– Prime Minister David Cameron
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