Khalid al-Tuwaijri was Chief of the Royal Court of Saudi Arabia under King Abdullah and was the highest ranking non-prince in the country until his ousting by King Salman in 2015.
Al-Tuwaijri was born in 1960 and studied law in Saudi Arabia; he obtained a master's degree in political science in the United States and another in Islamic criminal law in Saudi Arabia. He is an author and poet.
He started working in the civil service in 1995 and held several positions until he became head of the Crown Prince's Court, replacing his father Abdulaziz al-Tuwaijri in early 2005. On his ascension, King Abdullah appointed him Chief of the Royal Court on 9 October 2005, replacing another commoner, Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Nuweisir, and in 2011, he cemented his power by replacing Prince Abdul Aziz bin Fahd as chief of the Cabinet Court as well. As the secretary general, he had a say in the staffing of all the monarchy's positions. Over time, he also became Chief of the Royal Guard and a few other court positions.
By the time of the King's death, al-Tuwaijri was deeply unpopular with the senior princes, who described him as the "octopus," the "head of corruption,""the black box" and the "patron of the secularists". He was also accused of seeking to "destroy the country and run the Royal Family." In fact, Prince Mish'al, the eldest brother of the King, used to refer to al-Tuwaijri as 'King Khalid' because of his influence in the Royal Court.
Al-Tuwaijri was also denounced as the prime leader of the "westernization project" in Saudi Arabia, and was accused of trying to "shield" the king by preventing most of the Royal Family members from meeting him.
Several media sources reported the disappearance of al-Tuwaijri as soon as King Abdullah died, and many believed his removal was in effect defeat of the liberal faction led by the late King and his son Miteb, Minister of the National Guard, and a candidate for deputy crown prince.