Prince Harry and Meghan demoted on the royal family's official website
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex appear to have been demoted on the royal family's official website. The placement of Prince Harry and Meghan's profiles have moved further down the page, sitting at the same position as Prince Andrew. It's the latest blow to the couple who are reportedly concerned their children still have not been given the titles of prince and princess. READ MORE: William, Kate visit Wales under their new prince and princess titles © Getty The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have dropped down to the bottom of the page on the royal family's website.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's new title of prime minister, announced this week, could prove more significant abroad than inside the kingdom where he already wields enormous power. © - Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman
The appointment by royal decree comes ahead of a deadline for US President Joe Biden's administration to weigh in on whether Prince Mohammed qualifies for immunity from lawsuits filed in American courts.
The 37-year-old de facto ruler of the world's biggest crude exporter has been targeted in multiple such lawsuits in recent years, notably over the 2018 killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom's Istanbul consulate, which temporarily turned him into a pariah in the West.
Prince William and Kate have visited Wales for the first time since inheriting new titles. So how did it go?
The royal couple carry out their first Welsh visit since becoming the Prince and Princess of Wales. They inherited the titles following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. But as the Welsh gathered to catch a glimpse of their new Prince and Princess, there are calls to ditch the titles altogether.As a result, there are reports Prince William's investiture will be a much more stripped-back affair compared to his father's.Here's how their visit was received, and what comes next for the Prince of Wales.
His lawyers have argued in filings that he "sits at the apex of Saudi Arabia's government" and thus qualifies for legal immunity.
Human rights activists and government critics immediately speculated this week that making Prince Mohammed prime minister was a bald-faced attempt to strengthen the immunity claim and skirt legal exposure.
Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of the NGO Khashoggi founded Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), told AFP it was a "last-ditch effort to conjure up a new title for him" -- in other words, "a title-washing ploy".
Saudi officials did not respond to requests for comment about the move.
- Hit squads and hacks -
In October 2020, two years after Khashoggi's death, DAWN filed a complaint in the United States along with Khashoggi's fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, accusing Prince Mohammed of involvement in a "conspiracy" that led to Khashoggi being kidnapped, bound, drugged, tortured and assassinated.
Queen Margrethe of Denmark STRIPS four grandchildren of their titles
Queen Margrethe of Denmark has insisted stripping four of her grandchildren of their royal titles will be 'good for them in the future', on an outing to the National Museum in Copenhagen.The monarch, 82, has removed prince and princess as well as 'His/Her Highness' titles from Nikolai, 23, Felix, 20, Henrik, 13, and Athena, 10, the children of her youngest son Prince Joachim.
Last year, Biden declassified an intelligence report that found Prince Mohammed had approved the operation against Khashoggi, an assertion Saudi authorities deny.
The legal threats to Prince Mohammed in US courts go beyond Khashoggi.
He was also named in a lawsuit filed by Saad al-Jabri, a former top intelligence official who fell out of favour as Prince Mohammed manoeuvred to become first in line to the throne in 2017.
That complaint accuses Prince Mohammed of trying to lure Jabri back to Saudi Arabia from exile in Canada -- then, when that didn't work, "deploying a hit squad" to kill him on Canadian soil, a plot foiled when most of the would-be assailants were turned back at the border.
In yet another case, Prince Mohammed was accused by Lebanese journalist Ghada Oueiss of involvement in a scheme to hack her mobile device and disseminate "stolen personal images" to defame her and prevent her from reporting on human rights issues.
Prince Nikolai and Prince Felix's mother 'in shock' over title strip
SPOILER ALERT Trailer (2022) Jim Parsons, Ben Aldridge, Sally Field © 2022 - Focus Features
The immunity question appeared to come to a head over the summer, when a US judge gave Biden's administration until August 1 to say whether it believed Prince Mohammed qualified.
After Biden visited Saudi Arabia in July, abandoning a previous pledge to turn Saudi Arabia into a "pariah", his administration requested an additional 60 days to decide whether to weigh in on the matter.
The new deadline falls no later than Monday.
- 'In control' at home -
Before this week's announcement, Prince Mohammed, often referred to by his initials "MBS", had been serving as deputy prime minister and defence minister, managing major portfolios from energy to security and beyond.
Little is expected to change within the kingdom because of his new title, said Umar Karim, an expert on Saudi politics at the University of Birmingham.
"MBS was already completely in control, and there was no threat as such to him that could be countered by him becoming prime minister," Karim said.
At the same time, it is not clear whether becoming prime minister will significantly bolster Prince Mohammed's claim of immunity, given that King Salman remains head of state.
Observers pointed out that King Salman chaired a cabinet meeting the same day that Prince Mohammed's promotion was announced.
Even if the immunity question is resolved in the United States, it is likely to pop up in other countries.
In July, a group of NGOs filed a complaint in France alleging that Prince Mohammed was an accomplice to Khashoggi's torture and enforced disappearance.
They said the charges could be prosecuted in France, which recognises universal jurisdiction.
Prince Mohammed "does not have immunity from prosecution because as crown prince he is not head of state", they said.
OPEC was always going to mess with oil prices. Was Biden’s team naive? .
Maybe Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia wasn’t so brilliant.President Joe Biden has called the move a “disappointment.” Perhaps more accurately, it’s an embarrassment for an American leader who has sought to enhance relations with the kingdom after a rough start. On top of that, it’s a sign of the limits of America’s ability to determine the global landscape amid its ongoing proxy war against Russia in Ukraine, in which Saudi Arabia has played both the US and Russia against one another.