Islam and Arabian democracy have molded the character of the monarchy in Saudi Arabia. The rule of the House of Saud from its beginnings have been guided by the principles of Islam and by the old custom of rulers in Arabia of keeping in close touch with their people and of being constantly solicitous of their needs. The monarchy that has thus emerged in the Peninsula differs radically from Western conceptions of the institution: no Sun King, no pomp elevating the monarch far above the common breed, not even a crown or a throne.