Saudi Princess Lives in Acton

Princess Basma Bint Saud Bin Abdul Aziz leads campaign of Saudi dissent


Sign up for our free Acton newsletter

We don't get much monarchy in Acton. Maybe one of the rubbish princesses, like Eugenie, drove through once on her way between Stag hunting and laughing at the poor.

But that's all changed now, as Acton is not just the brief stop-over but instead that actual semi-permanent home of a real-life princess of the Saudi royal family.

Princess Basma Bint Saud Bun Abdul Aziz (try saying that 10 times fast with a mouthful of cornflakes - you'll be arrested in Saudi Arabia if you do) is the youngest daughter of King Saud, the the second King of Saudi Arabia, who was overthrown by his own brother in 1964. Youngest daughter might sound special, but she is the youngest out of 115. And there are over 15,000 members of the Saudi royal family, so it's not quite the exclusive club you might have thought it was. But still - royalty!

You may be harbouring some concerns about the Acton Princess' (oh yes) country of origin. After all, Amnesty International recently branded the country "terribly naughty" (paraphrasing), and they've hardly been supportive of all the Arab Spring business. But luckily Princess Basma sort of agrees with you!

Her Royal Highness has been running a media campaign against the Saudi rulers, decrying the treatment of women in the country, and more recently criticising them for their reaction to the protests sweeping the Arab world. She doesn't accuse the actual ruling royal family though - she maintains that the true culprits are the governors and other middle-managers of the country, who she claims control the mutawa - the country's religious police.

Princess Basma's journalism and blogging has landed her in some slightly-above-tepid water - the Independent reports that her articles have become so worrying to the Saudi state that they have started censoring her. She insists that her recent relocation from her home in Jeddah over here to Acton is not due to pressure from the Saudi state. And why would she lie? Jeddah sounds rubbish anyway. Do they have a Morrisions there? Probably not!

But Princess Basma is no ordinary Saudi Princess - at 47, she's a divorcee and and successful business owner. All that on top of her political work - and living in Acton of course. Here's a Youtube video of her being interviewed:

Remember: this woman lives in Acton.

January 3, 2012


Bookmark and Share