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King Salman Bin Abdelaziz’s hospitalisation on 20 July showed the 84 year-old’s vulnerability, but also that the monarch since 2015 has lost none of the tough spirit that long made him the royal family ‘enforcer’ and mediator. Following the successful removal of his gallbladder, Salman chaired a cabinet meeting from hospital on 22 July, highlighting his legendary work ethic and allaying immediate concerns of his demise. However, by advertising the king’s frailties, the episode set Saudi-watchers once again to focusing on the succession. One school of thought has it that Salman’s infirmity might provide a credible excuse to justify his abdication – almost certainly in favour of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS).