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Row over lowering flag for death of Saudi King Abdullah

The lowering of flags on public buildings as a mark of respect after the death of the Saudi King Abdullah has been condemned as "nonsense" by the leader of the Scottish Conservatives Ruth Davidson.

Downing Street, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace were among landmarks to put Union Flags at half mast after a request from government officials.

They said it was a matter of protocol and that the formal request had been made by the Palace. But the move caused disquiet because of the human rights record of the country during King Abdullah's reign.

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Major: 'King Abdullah will be remembered as a peacemaker'

Sir John Major says King Abdullah will be remembered as a peacemaker. Credit: PA

Former prime minister Sir John Major has said Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah will be remembered as a "peacemaker and reformer".

King Abdullah will be remembered as a peacemaker and reformer, whose moderate views sought both to stabilise the Middle East, and soften the most conservative opinion in Saudi Arabia.

He was a good friend of Britain and a wise man whose voice will be missed far beyond his own country.

– Sir John Major

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PM to 'pay condolences' to King Abdullah on Saudi trip

David Cameron meeting King Abdullah in 2012. Credit: PA

David Cameron will travel to Saudi Arabia tomorrow to "pay his condolences" to the late King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, Downing Street has confirmed.

The Prime Minister's trip coincides with a visit to the kingdom by the Prince of Wales, who will also be paying his condolences to the monarch.

New Saudi King settles succession by naming heirs

King Salman pledged to maintain the same approach to ruling Saudi Arabia as his predecessors. Credit: Orban Thierry/ABACA/PA

Saudi Arabia's new King Salman has pledged continuity in energy and foreign policies and moved quickly to appoint younger men as his heirs.

He settled the succession for years to come by naming a deputy crown prince from his dynasty's next generation.

King Salman has appointed his youngest half-brother Muqrin, 69, as Crown Prince and nephew Mohammed bin Nayef, 55, as Deputy Crown Prince.

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.

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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.

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