Royalty, the word, is enough to harbor a perfect first impression even before having met with the individual. One expects someone regal to be the spitting image of wealth, etiquette, and a walking-talking masterclass in, well, class. What one can never imagine a royal to do is dodge bills, leave people in the lurch, and scoot in the wee hours. Saudi Princess Maha Al-Sudairi smashed these preconceived notions and how! She shopped like someone who lives in a palace, but didn’t believe in paying like one. The Saudi princess Maha bint Mohammed bin Ahmad al-Sudairi snubbed a string of Paris’s most exclusive boutiques for $20 million and didn’t shy away from bolting her way out of an outstanding $7 million hotel bill. What led to this astronomical bill? For starters, the former wife of the late Saudi Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud visited Paris’s five-star Shangri-La Hotel in the 16th Arrondissement with her entourage. She occupied 41 rooms, taking over the entire floor.
Secondly, the diva and her staff made the expensive hotel their home for a span of five months. When it was time to pay, she tried to make a break for it by fleeing the property in the wee hours. But it’s problematic for anyone with a posse of 60 people, a fleet of limousines, and scores of bags tagging along. Princess Maha bint tried to dash from this situation at 3:30 A.M. on May 31, 2012 but failed. Calls to high-ranking diplomats and officials followed, so she could finally leave and check into the Royal Monceau, owned by a Qatari, per Vanity Fair.
Not just ultra-expensive hotel stays, the princess has a reputation for being a prolific spender who did enjoy an excellent payment history until she didn’t. The welcomed shopaholic soon turned into a long-time creditor, flashing the embossed card marked “Payment to Follow.” In 2009, Princess Maha spent $20 million during an epic shopping spree in high-end Parisian boutiques.
Her truckloads of luxury goods were seized and sold-
Princess Maha was sued by six French creditors, including a company that provided up to 30 chauffeur-driven cars a day for six months ( $400,000 of unpaid bills) during her Paris visit. In 2013, a Paris judge ordered three lock-up store-rooms rented by the princess storing luxury goods worth more than $11 million to be seized and sold for the payment of these bills. Mrs. Al-Sudairi owned three storage units in central Paris, bursting at the seams due to her insane shopping trips around the French capital. From luxury leather goods, artworks, jewelry, and clothing, it’s genuinely a treasure trove of royal niceties.
The princess has managed to irk roughly 30 of Paris’s most exclusive luxury goods retailers in the past few years with her credit notes. A few are the fashion chain Dior, jewelry outlets Chaumet and Victoria Casal, and top-of-the-range lingerie store O Caprices De Lili. “She was a very good customer for eight years, but then simply stopped paying,” the proprietor of the lingerie store O Caprices de Lili told reporters in June 2009, as she awaited nearly $100,000 in payment.
Where is Princess Maha?
Irked by her reckless behavior, the late King Abdullah (he passed on January 23, 2015) had her confined to her palace on her return to Saudi Arabia. “The king was really over her at this point—he wanted nothing to do with her,” said a Middle Eastern woman who knew the princess.” She added, “She had no permission to leave the country.”