His Majesty King ldris I of the United Kingdom of Libya was born on March 13, 1890. He is the grandson of the late Mohammed Ali Ben es-Senussi, who was the founder of a powerful Moslem fraternity known as “Senussiya”. In 1917, Britain, Italy and the Senussi chiefs recognized him as the Grand Senussi. In 1920, he was given the hereditary title of Ami with jurisdiction over Kufra, Jaghhub, Jalo, Aujila and Jedabia.

During the Italian occupation of his country, King ldris found refuge in Egypt, but struggled for the liberation of his country. During World War II, he assisted the British 8th Army by raising a national battalion to fight against the Italians and the Germans. By 1947, he returned to Cyrenaica and established himself in Benghazi and was recognized by Britain as the ruler of the area. Three years after, the then National Assembly, comprising representatives from the three provinces, chose him as the first King of Libya.

When Britain and France relinquished their administrative authority, King ldris I proclaimed the independence of the United Kingdom of Libya.