He wasn't a monarch who could have accelerated Saudi Arabia's drive toward modernity. He wasn't a monarch who ensured gender parity, thereby excluding a demographic majority of his people from contributing to the national welfare. He wasn't, in the end, a monarch who brought peace and security to a region rife with historical angst and animosities.
Older and worn out, the king who once apologized to his people, is now leaving office. By choice, yes, but also driven by the reality of a country that has long stopped considering him untouchable, a time when his crucial role in the transition of the country to democracy is diluted in memory and is not enough to ensure the unconditional support of the people.
One thing that could make a difference would be if the tourists stopped coming, prompting the exchange rate, foreign exchange reserves, and stock market to fall substantially. Perhaps, if there was enough collective pain, the red and yellow shirts would determine that it is in everyone's interest to find common ground.