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First Wife of King Fahd Dies

March 9, 1999 GMT

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) _ Princess Al-Anoud bint Abdel Aziz, first wife of King Fahd, has died after a long illness. She was in her 70s.

A royal court statement said she died Monday, but gave no details. Palace officials said the princess died in Los Angeles, where she was believed to have lived for the past three years while being treated for a disease that affected her spinal cord and kidneys. She had been ill since the late 1970s.

Princess Al-Anoud was the mother of five of Fahd’s sons. The oldest, Prince Faisal bin Fahd, who is the equivalent of the sports minister, was at his mother’s bedside when she died, said the palace officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Her body was expected to be flown to Saudi Arabia for burial.

The princess was the youngest sister of the wife of Saudi Defense Minister Prince Sultan, a brother of King Fahd.

Princess Al-Anoud’s father, the governor of the province of Ha’il between 1921 to 1971, was from the al-Jelawi tribe, one of the most important in Saudi Arabia.

The al-Jelawi tribe supported Fahd’s father, King Abdel Aziz, when he captured Riyadh in 1902 at the start of a campaign to unite the Arabian Peninsula, which led to the formation of the modern kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Al-Anoud and Fahd were married as teen-agers. Little is known about her background. Women lead intensely private lives in Saudi Arabia, more so royal women of her generation.

King Fahd has another wife, Princess Jawhara bint Ibrahim al-Ibrahim. She is the mother of Fahd’s youngest and favorite son, Prince Abdel-Aziz bin Fahd bin Abdel-Aziz, a 27-year-old Cabinet minister.