Attention International Law and Diplomacy Aficionados: New Book about Prince Bandar

 International lawyers who follow diplomatic developments will enjoy a newly released book about Saudi Arabia’s Prince Bandar, who served as the Saudi ambassador to the United State 1983-2005:  The Prince:  The Secret Story of the World’s Most Intriguing Royal:  Prince Bandar Bin Sultan by William Simpson (2006 Harper Collins). 

Last night I dined with the author (Bill Simpson) and learned about his friendship with Prince Bandar.  As peers and fencing partners at the British Royal Air Force College, Cranwell,  Simpson and the Prince forged a close bond. 

Simpson regaled us with stories of diplomatic intrigue from the book.  He also explained why Prince Bandar has become such an accomplished international figure.  The son of son of Crown Prince Sultan and a servant, Prince Bandar spent his early years living in primitive conditions, being raised solely by female relatives.  Given that his beginnings were less auspicious than those of his fully royal half siblings, Bandar always worked hard to get his father’s approval.  According to the author, this incredible drive has helped the Prince to excel in everything he does. 

Simpson also credits Bandar’s having spent his early years exclusively among women of humble origins (in contrast to a traditional Saudi prince’s upbringing) for some of the Prince’s open mindedness and diplomatic talent. 

The author was both charming and well spoken.  He clearly knows Prince Bandar well, and in fact, Prince Bandar collaborated closely on the book. It’s next on my reading list.

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