Muqrin bin Abdulaziz was born in Riyadh on 15 September 1945, or 1943. He is the 35th and, following the death of his younger half-brother Hamoud in 1994, the youngest surviving son of King Abdulaziz. His mother, Baraka Al Yamaniyah, was Yemeni. who was the eighteenth spouse of King Abdulaziz.
Muqrin studied at the Riyadh Model Institute. He, then, went to Britain's RAF College in Cranwell and graduated with a degree in aeronautics at the rank of flight lieutenant in 1968. He also received a diploma, equivalent to a master's degree, from the General Staff course in the United States in 1974.
Muqrin bin Abdulaziz was an air force pilot. In 1965, he joined the Saudi Royal Air Force (RSAF). He was named commander of the RSAF's 2nd air squadron in 1970. He had served in several positions in the RSAF from 1973 to 1977 before being appointed the adjutant to the director of air operations. He then was elevated to president of operations and planning for the RSAF. He left the RSAF in 1980.
On 18 March 1980, King Khalid appointed Prince Muqrin as governor of Hail and his tenure lasted until 1999. On 24 November 1999, he was appointed governor of Madinah Province as a successor to his late brother, Abdul Majeed bin Abdulaziz. King Fahd later ordered him to modernize the city in response to a wave of anti-government and anti-royalty demonstrations during Hajj. Prince Muqrin developed the education and health care services offered in remote regions. Considered a traditionalist, Prince Muqrin worked to promote traditional values during his appointments as governor. He remained in office until October 2005. Abdulaziz bin Majid succeeded him as governor of Madinah Province.
On 22 October 2005, King Abdullah appointed Prince Muqrin as director general of Saudi Arabia's intelligence agency Al Mukhabarat Al A'amah. His appointment occurred nine months after the resignation of the former director general Prince Nawwaf.
Prince Muqrin organized a conference on combating internet militancy, particularly used by al Qaeda in 2007. He further declared that Al Mukhabarat al A'amah would set a website to inform citizens about threats to security. He also stated that the organization would be restructured to combat with AQAP. He successfully expelled Islamist militants from Saudi Arabia. On 19 July 2012, Prince Muqrin was relieved from his post and replaced by Bandar bin Sultan. It was argued by media that Prince Muqrin had been criticized during his term due to his approach towards some sensitive issues. On the other hand, Prince Muqrin was named advisor at the rank of minister and a special envoy to King Abdullah the same day. His responsibility was stated to be the affairs in southeast Asia.
Prince Muqrin played an active role in Pakistani politics during his term at the Al Mukhabarat Al A'amah. After Pervez Musharraf's 1999 military coup on Nawaz Sharif, the Saudi government arranged a ten-year agreement with Pervez Musharraf to accept Nawaz Sharif as an exile. Because of Benazir Bhutto's early return from exile and the upcoming 2008 elections, Sharif attempted to return to Pakistan in 2007 against the advice of Prince Muqrin. However, Sharif was quickly deported from Pakistan and was greeted by Muqrin bin Abdulaziz at the Jeddah airport. Prince Muqrin was also involved in political reconciliation efforts in Pakistan.
On the other hand, Muqrin bin Abdulaziz and Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal were reported to be in favor of pushing the sanctions against Iran instead of military action as King Abdullah insisted. However, Prince Muqrin also argued that Iran’s interference in internal Gulf affairs, especially Iran's move in regard to nuclear arms, had very negative effects on the region and therefore, might cause an arms race among the Gulf states.
Prince Muqrin was considered to be one of the candidates for accession to the throne since he has governmental experience although his maternal line was seen as a factor curtailing his chance in this regard.
The Prince is said to be much appreciated by the Saudi public because he has never been known for corruption or other negative activities and was considered to be one of King Abdullah's long-time allies.
He is also believed by many to be a liberal within the family. However, letter exchanges regarding the Shia in the Eastern Province illustrated an interesting opposition between Muqrin and Crown Prince Nayef. The letters discussed how a situation involving Shia instigation in the Eastern Province should have been handled. In these exchanges, Prince Muqrin argued for a much stronger and harsher approach, but he was vetoed by Crown Prince Nayef.
Prince Muqrin was appointed as Second Deputy Prime Minister by King Abdullah on 1 February 2013, although he was not seen as a potential contender for the post by analysts. This post, which had been vacant since October 2011, is regarded as second in line to the Saudi throne. In practical terms, in this role Prince Muqrin was expected to handle daily running of the country whenever King Abdullah and Crown Prince Salman were out of the country or could not deal with daily administrative affairs due to health concerns. In addition to the post of Second Deputy Prime Minister, Prince Muqrin kept his other two previous posts, namely adviser to and special envoy of King Abdullah.
After almost a year with the post of Second Deputy Prime Minister vacant, Prince Muqrin was formally designated by royal decree in 2013. This meant that he was informally next in line, bypassing several senior princes. In order to make his place in the line of succession permanent and preclude any challenges by any of the dispossessed royals, King Abdullah polled each member of the Allegiance Council individually before announcing Muqrin's new title. The poll, which is considered an official vote of the Council, was 75% yes and 25% no.
The royal decree of 27 March 2014, placing him next in line to succeed King Abdullah after his half-brother, Crown Prince Salman, stated that the election “may not be modified or changed in any way or form by any person whoever it may be,” precluding Salman from later choosing someone else.
Prince Muqrin's nomination, according to Reuters, gave more assurance to the kingdom's long-term succession process, proving prophetic with the efficient change of power upon the death of King Abdullah and the accession of King Salman on 23 January 2015.
Prince Muqrin became Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and First Deputy Prime Minister on 23 January 2015. After a tenure of barely three months, he was relieved of his position as Crown Prince on 29 April 2015.
Prince Muqrin is married to Abta bint Hamoud Al Rashid. She was president of the Women's Council when Prince Muqrin was Madinah governor.
He has 14 children. His daughters are; Mudahawi, Layla, Mishail, Abta, Nuf, Lamiya, Jawahir, and Sara. His sons are; Fahd bin Muqrin, Abdul Aziz, Faysal, Turki, Mansour, and Bandur. Prince Turki founded a real-estate company in Turkey. He is a pilot and CEO of Rabigh Wings Aviation Academy in Jeddah. Prince Turki is also board member of the Saudi Aviation Club.
Muqrin bin Abdulaziz is said to enjoy astronomy, literature and Arabic poetry and has a large library containing thousands of books.
Prince Muqrin purchased four real estate properties about 7,700 square meters in Dlebta, Lebanon, following the approval of the cabinet in 2012 and the publishing of the listed sale in the official gazette. Dlebta’s residents objected to the deal and filed a complaint with the relevant authorities.