The Solicitor - The FindLaw UK Life, Family and Workplace Law Blog

British wife of Saudi King wins battle over legacy

The 'secret' British wife of a deceased Saudi King has won a legal battle over whether she can pursue his son for her share of his fortune, and has threatened to reveal the secrets of life living in his harem, reports the Daily Mail.

The story of Janan Harb is quite remarkable. She claims to have been married to the late King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia back in 1968.

Harb claims that the deceased King promised to support her financially for the rest of her life, and promised her a sum of £11m back in 2003, along with part-ownership of two apartments in London.

However, the heir to King Fahd's fortune, Prince Abdul Aziz bin Fahd, now faces a claim by his father's ex-wife for a share of the family fortune.

The situation has been intensified by the threat that Harb could expose to the world the realities of being one of several of the wives of a former Saudi King and head of state of Saudi Arabia.

In the High Court in London, lawyers representing Prince Abdul Aziz said that the UK courts had no jurisdiction to hear the claims of Harb, saying that as a relative of the King of Saudi Arabia he should enjoy 'state immunity'.

However, Mrs Justice Rose disagreed, saying that the Prince was not entitled to rely on state immunity in this case.

"After 12 years of persistence I am very happy and relieved. If the prince is going to appeal, I am going to accept the offer of the movie of the book I have written - I am going to spill the beans," Harb told reporters outside the court.

Harb said the Prince has previously told her he would honour the assurances of his father, only to then renege on the deal.

The court was asked to rule on whether actions that took place whilst the King was head of state would always benefit from sovereign immunity, even when the person ceases to be head of state following death.

Harb's marriage to the King ended abruptly in 1970, when the King's brother told her she was to leave Saudi Arabia immediately.