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Meet Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel, the 34-year-old philanthropist who married a billionaire at a wedding Oprah attended

Lucy Yang

Saudi Arabia's Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel made headlines earlier this month when she married billionaire Khalifa Bin Butti al-Muhairi.

The private ceremony, which was held in Paris, France, had an exclusive guest list that included, among others, Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King, the Daily Mail reported Monday.

Al-Taweel was previously married to Prince Al-Waleed bin Tala, a member of Saudi Arabia's royal family and one of the richest men in the world, according to Forbes' estimate of his net worth.

Below, find out more about the high-profile philanthropist and entertainment company CEO.

Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel married into the House of Saud, the ruling royal family of Saudi Arabia, in 2008.

According to Glamour, Al-Taweel met Prince Al-Waleed bin Tala when she interviewed him for a school paper at the age of 18. The two tied the knot nine months later in 2008, at which point Al-Taweel became the royal's fourth wife.

A successful investor who owns stakes in numerous American companies including Lyft, Twitter, and Citigroup, the prince has been called the "Warren Buffett of the Middle East."

The couple separated five years later in 2013.

Speaking to Glamour in 2015, Al-Taweel, then 29, said that the divorce was "amicable." She also said she hopes to be a role model for young women.

Al-Taweel continued: "I want to be the one women look to when they tell their daughters, 'Look, she got a divorce and see what she's doing now? She's an independent woman. She's doing something good for her country."

Al-Taweel is an outspoken advocate for women's civil rights and empowerment.

Over the years, she's worked closely with numerous non-profit organisations and high-profile global leaders like the Clintons, Queen Rania of Jordan, and members of the British royal family, the Daily Mail reported.

According to Glamour, Al-Taweel has advocated for women in Saudi Arabia to gain the right to drive, access to equal inheritance, and custody of their children after getting divorced.

In late September 2017, Saudi Arabia announced in a royal decree that it would lift its longstanding ban on women driving. The landmark decision took effect in June earlier this year.

Currently, women in Saudi Arabia still cannot retain custody over their children after a divorce once their sons are older than seven or their daughters are older than nine, according to a report by the Human Rights Watch.

According to the European Parliament, under Saudi Arabia's Sharia inheritance laws, daughters continue to get half of what sons are able to inherit.

And she's a celebrated philanthropist.

During her marriage to Prince Al-Waleed, charity, Al-Taweel helped head up the royal's charity, Al-Waleed Bin Talal Foundations, according to Glamour.

The former princess has also participated in disaster relief projects in Pakistan and Somalia, the Daily Mail reported.

The philanthropist is outspoken about her advocacy work on Twitter, where she has over 1.5 million followers and counting.

She's also the founder and CEO of Time Entertainment, an entertainment company based in Saudi Arabia.

Al-Taweel is currently a chairwoman of a volunteer network called Tasamy as well as an ambassador to the world for Perkins School for the Blind, in Watertown, Massachusetts.

According to Venture Magazine, Tasamy empowers social entrepreneurs to gather and create sustainable projects with the help of both private and governmental sectors, according to Venture Magazine.

Her first name, Ameerah, means "princess" in Arabic.

In a 2012 interview with The Wall Street Journal's Lee Hawkins, the philanthropist said that people in Saudi Arabia call her "Ameerah Ameerah," or "princess princess."

She was born in a middle-class family.

During her interview with The Wall Street Journal, Al-Taweel told Hawkins that she was "born a middle-class girl."

According to Glamour, she was raised by her divorced mum and her grandparents in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

She wanted to be a heart surgeon before she became a princess.

Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, she said she never envisioned becoming a princess when she was younger.

"I wanted to be a doctor - heart surgeon - and I was working really hard to do so," Al-Taweel said. "And then my life just changed, dramatically."


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