The crown prince of Saudi Arabia is said to be behind the dismissal of the kingdom's top generals as Riyadh is embroiled in a brutal and controversial conflict in Yemen.

In a decree, it was announced that the chief of staff, General Abdulrahman Al-Bunyan and the heads of the ground and air forces would be leaving their posts as part of a shake-up of royal advisory posts and governorships.

The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported that the move is aimed at cementing his position at home which has been threatened by a number of high-profile arrests of fellow princes on charges of corruption.

Although many have been released and settled claims worth billions of dollars, one of those detained was the head of the internal security force.

The Saudi army is also fighting a deeply unpopular war in Yemen in which thousands have died and many more have been displaced as the prince seeks to reinstate the ousted president of Yemen Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi. A shake-up will ensure that he has loyalists at the helm as he goes overseas.

Other political appointments were also announced, including the rare appointment of a female deputy minister of labour and social development, Tamadar bint Yousef al-Ramah. Prince Turki bin Talal was appointed new deputy governor of the south-west Asir province.

The crown prince's advisers are said to be worried at what kind of reception he will get in the UK, which he will visit during his first major world tour and will take in the US and France.

Due to visit the UK, next week, the prince will meet Theresa May, Boris Johnson and so far, unnamed royals. But there is controversy over Britain's role in the Yemeni conflict as it supplies arms and services its BAE Tornado jets.

The British government wants the Riyadh to float the state-owned oil company Aramco in London, rather than in other cities vying for the prize.