The princes gathered in a historic royal palace in Qasr al-Hokm to demand compensation for a death sentence issued against one of their relatives, Saudi media reported on Saturday. The group of 11 princes also decried the recent royal decree that introduced various austerity measures, including cutting state payment of water and electricity bills for the royals. Saudi Arabia's royal family has many thousands of members, thanks to polygamy practiced in the kingdom. Some observers estimate that around 15,000 princes and princesses live in the oil-rich state. They have seen many of their perks cut as part of an economy drive pushed by the powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
"They [protesting princes] were informed of the error of their demands, but they refused to leave Qasr al-Hokm," said the government-linked Sabq website, quoting unidentified sources. "A royal order was issued to the royal guards ... to intervene and they were detained and put into al-Hayer prison in preparation to put them on trial."
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