Yemen Royalist Government in exile Coinage: AH 1385 (1965).
Muhammad Al-Badr (February 15, 1926 – August 6, 1996)
(Arabic: المنصور بالله محمد البدر بن أحمد) was the last king of the
Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen (North Yemen) and leader of the monarchist
regions during the North Yemen Civil War (1962–1970). His full name was Al-Mansur
Bi'llah Muhammad Al-Badr bin Al-Nasir-li-dinu'llah Ahmad, Imam and Commander
of the Faithful and King of the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of the Yemen.
Muhammad al-Badr was born in 1926 as oldest son of Ahmad bin Yahya, later
imam of the Zaydis and king of North Yemen. In 1944 he moved to Taizz in the
south of the country, where his father had already been the Imam's deputy
for several years, to continue his education. Soon after the assassination
of Imam Yahya in February 1948 plotted by Sayyid Abdullah al-Wazir, al-Badr
arrived in Sana'a, the capital, but apparently only gave tacit support to
the new regime. Meanwhile, Sayf al-Islam Ahmad had managed to get away from
Taizz and made for Hajjah, where he gathered the tribes around him,
proclaimed himself Imam with the title of al-Nasir and within a month of the
assassination had easily regained control of Sana'a and executed the
principal perpetrators of the rebellion.
Sayf al-Islam al-Badr (as Muhammad now became), not yet 20, was clearly able
to patch up speedily any misunderstandings with his father, for in late 1949
he was appointed his deputy over Hodeida, the important port on the Red Sea.
He was also made Minister of the Interior.
Al-Badr played a prominent role in quelling the revolt against his father,
Imam Ahmad, in 1955 led by Ahmad's brother Sayf al-Islam Abdullah and
afterwards was declared Crown Prince. In that same year Ahmad bin Yahya
forged connections and signed agreements during a tour to Soviet bloc
countries. In April 1956 he signed a mutual defence pact with Egypt,
involving a unified military command, and in 1958 incorporated Yemen with
the United Arab Republic of Egypt and Syria into what then became the United
During the remaining period of Imam Ahmad's rule, Sayf al-Islam al-Badr held
the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs and from 1958 he was also the Imam's
deputy over Sana'a. Like most young Arab leaders of his generation, Al-Badr
had been a great admirer of the Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser. So in
1959 while he was in charge of Yemen for a few months during Imam Ahmad's
absence in Italy for medical treatment, he arranged for Egyptian experts to
come and help modernize the Yemen in all fields, including the military. His
father annulled these upon his return.
An assassination attempt on the life of Imam Ahmad in March 1961 left the
latter gravely crippled, so in October Sayf al-Islam al-Badr took over
effective control of the government. On 19 September 1962 Ahmad died in his
sleep, al-Badr was proclaimed Imam and King and took the title of al-Mansur.
A week later rebels shelled his residence, Dar al-Bashair, in the Bir al-Azab
district of Sana'a whence on September 26, 1962, Abdullah as-Sallal, whom
al-Badr had appointed commander of the royal guard, staged a coup, and
declared himself president of the Yemen Arab Republic.
Al-Badr escaped to the north of North Yemen, and rallied tribes that support
him in opposition to Sallal. Fighting erupted between the two groups,
starting the North Yemen Civil War. Al-Badr started getting support from
Saudi Arabia, while the republicans received support from Egypt.
Although the revolution had announced to the world that al-Badr had died
beneath the rubble of his palace, he had in fact managed to escape unhurt
and set out to the north. As he proceeded on his journey the tribes rallied
round him pledging him their unconditional allegiance as Amir al-Mumineen
("Prince of the Faithful"). These tribes were Zaydi Shia for whom unstinted
loyalty to an imam from the Ahl al-Bayt (the descendants of the Prophet) was
a fundamental obligation of their religion. A few days later he held a press
conference over the border in south-west Saudi Arabia. His uncle Sayf
al-Islam al-Hasan, who had been abroad and had been proclaimed Imam at the
news of al-Badr's alleged demise, immediately gave allegiance to him
together with all the princes of the Hamid al-Din family. Soon the entire
tribal confederation of Bakil along with most of Hashid who occupied the
central and northern highlands of Yemen and who had been Zaydis for
centuries joined enthusiastically the cause of the Imam and the princes to
fight the revolutionary regime.
During the bloody civil war which continued for eight years al-Badr, like
his cousins, played a vital role. He lived alongside his men the life of a
warrior, sharing with them every deprivation and hardship. He set up his
headquarters in various places in the scenically spectacular mountainous
north-west Yemen, on Jebal Qara, for instance, in the region of Hajur
al-Sham and at al-Muhabisha high up above the Tihama plain. These HQs
situated in caves fitted out with every basic facility deep in the
mountainside were nevertheless constantly under the threat of Egyptian
bombardment from the air. In 1967 al-Badr left his HQ at Mabyan near Hajjah
for Taif in Saudi Arabia, where he stayed until the end of the war.
In 1970, despite the fact that territorially most of the Yemen remained
under the control of al-Badr and the Hamid al-Din family, Saudi Arabia,
which had been the principal opponent of the Sana'a regime, recognized the
Yemen Arab Republic and other nations like the United Kingdom swiftly
Stunned by Saudi Arabia's recognition of the republican regime which had
been negotiated without any consultation with him whatsoever, al-Badr
refused to stay any longer in Saudi Arabia and demanded that he be permitted
to leave the kingdom immediately. He went to England, where he lived quietly
in a modest house in Kent, only going abroad to visit the holy cities of
Mecca and Medina and to call on relatives and friends in that part of the
world. He died in 1996 in London, and is buried in Brookwood Cemetery in
Woking, in Surrey. He was honored Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit
of the Italian Republic on 28 November 1957.
X#A1 / Schön# A20 Rial.
AH 1365 (1965). Weight:
24.94 grams [25.00 grams].
Metal: 0.720 Silver.
39.00 mm. Edge:
"المملكة المتوكلية اليمنية" (Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen) written at the top. "سنة" (Year) written
at the right side and "١٣٨٥هـ" (AH 1365) written at the left side. Ornate
crowned and flag draped arms in the center and "YEMEN" written below it.
"720" written below the left flag and "٧٢٠" written below the
right flag indicates the silver fineness. "ريال واحد" written at the bottom
right side and "ONE RIYAL" at the bottom left side.
"تذكار رجل السلام ـ السير ونستون تشرشل
١٩٦٥" (Memorial of the Man of Peace Sir Winston Churchill 1965) written at the top
section. Portrait of Sir. Winston Churchill in the center. "· IN MEMORIAM
SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL 1965 ·" written at the bottom section.
One year type.
Note: The coin was mint under
Imam Al-Badr, he was the last king of Yemen. He ruled Mutawakkilite
Kingdom of Yemen. He took the power after death of his father in
September 1962 . He appointed Abdullah al-Sallala as General of his
troops. Sallala a few days later made a coup and founded Yemen Arab
Republic. Civil war broke out. On the one side royalist with Imam
Al-Badr supported by Saudi family while on opposite side Sallal
supported by Egypt. Conflict continued periodically until 1967 but
the fights was until 1970 when peace was made and other nations
recognize independence of Yemen Arab Republic. 500 pieces of this
were also made with "ESSAI" (pattern) written on them.