king idris of libya

King Idris of Libya (1951 - 1969).

kingdom of libya in arabic

The Kingdom of Libya

Capital: Tripoli and Benghazi
Government: Constitutional Monarchy
King: Idris:1951–1969
Crown Prince Regent: Hasan: 1969
Prime Ministers: Mahmud al-Muntasir (1951–1954); Hussein Maziq (1965–1967); Wanis al-Qaddafi (1968–1969).
Legislature: Parliament; Upper House (Senate); Lower House (House of Representatives).
Independence: 24 December 1951.
Area: 1,759,530 km2 (679,358 square miles).
Population: 1,091,830 (as of 1954).




kingdom of libya


The 1951 constitution states that King Idris as-Sanusi is the head of state, who can exercise political power to run the affairs of the country, through a government led by a prime minister, as well as can veto legislations and dissolve the house of representatives. The king's government is made up of the parliament, the upper house (Senate) and the lower house (House of Representatives). Each of the three provinces of Libya, namely Cyrenaica, Tripolitania and Fezzan, were represented in the Senate by eight representatives. Each province had its own "provincial government."



the crown prince of libya

The Crown Prince Hasan.

The Crown Prince Hasan as-Senussi was appointed as regent,
when king Idris left Libya in June 1969 for medication.
Gaddafi's staged operation was then completed two months later, without any confrontation.



The Flag of Cyrenaica

the flag of cyrenaica: black with white crescent and white star

The flag of Cyrenaica, Eastern Libya.


The name Sanusi (or Senusi) refers to a political-religious order, said to have been founded by the grandfather of King Idris, the Grand Sanusi (Sayyid Muhammad Ibn Ali as-Senussi), in 1837 in Saudi Arabia. The black flag with white star & crescent was adopted by Idris as-Sanusi. The Sanusi family were involved in the wars against the French (between 1902 to 1913) and against the Italian invasions of Libya. After the Italians returned to Libya, after the treaty they signed with Turkey, the country was destroyed, Emir Idris fled to Egypt, and subsequently Omar al-Mukhtar was hanged in 1931. On the 1st of March 1949, Sayyid Idris proclaimed the eastern region of Libya as "The Emirate of Cyrenaica", and appointed himself the Emir of Cyrenaica. Even though the UK did recognise the Emirate, the UN failed to recognise the new country. In 1951 King Idris was appointed the King of Libya.



The Monarchy Flag

the flag of the kingdom of Libya: red on top, black in the middle, green at the bottom, white white star and crescent in the middle

The flag of the Kingdom of Libya.


On the 24th of December 1951 Libya became an independent state, under the name of The Libyan Kingdom, also known as The Kingdom of Libya, and The United Kingdom of Libya. After the Emir of Cyrenaica was declared the King of Libya, the king carried his flag to the new kingdom, with the addition of red and green.



Royal Corruption

Like the American president was reported by Aljazeera to have said in 1968:

"King Idris' regime was stable and secure because it was corrupt, truly corrupt".

The same source also stated that:

"In their bid to dominate Africa, the [Seven] Sisters installed a king in Libya, a dictator in Gabon, fought the nationalisation of oil resources in Algeria, and through corruption, war and assassinations, brought Nigeria to its knees"



The Berbers of Libya Under King Idris

The official status of the Berbers during the kingdom can be argued to have been slightly better than that during Gaddafi's period, and so far the same as during the "transitional" period of the NTC. However, all these three governments have declared constitutionally that Arabic is the only official language of Libya - even though Berber is the native language of Libya.

The king's constitution states this under Article 186. However, Article 24 also states that any Libyan can use any language to 'practice' his or her religion or culture, including its use in literature and the media. After practice, of course, comes the real test - whenever the dictators are ready.

In addition to the lack of any official recognition, there was no clear policy to assist the Berbers along those lines to develop their unique culture and nurture their prehistoric identity. When a language is declared official it will have the "legal protection", the "funds", and the dedication to ensure its free evolution. But when it is marginalised or forced into integration into another's freedom then neglect naturally follows. 



03 March 2014:

The Libyan government has decided to reinstate the Libyan nationality to King Idris and to his family. Decree 146 of 2014, issued by the PMO, also returns all the property confiscated by Gaddafi's government to the Sanusi family. 

Download Decree 146/2014



This short documentary highlights some of the key events in Libyan history between the years 1911 – 1969. The video comes from the website of the Prince Mohammed el-Hasan el-Rida el-Senussi. mohammedelsenussi.org/