On 30 May 1868, he was born at Dolmabahçe Palace or at Beşiktaş Palace, Beşiktaş, Istanbul, to then Sultan Abdülaziz and his wife Hayranidil Kadın. He was educated privately.
According to custom, Abdulmejid was confined to the palace until he was 40. On 4 July 1918, his first cousin Mehmed VI became Sultan and Abdulmejid was named Crown Prince. Following the deposition of his cousin on 1 November 1922, the Sultanate was abolished. But on 19 November 1922, the Crown Prince was elected Caliph by the Turkish National Assembly at Ankara. He established himself in Constantinople on 24 November 1922.
On 3 March 1924, six months after the foundation of the Turkish Republic, the Ottoman Caliphate was abolished and the Ottoman dynasty was deposed and expelled from Turkey.
Abdulmejid's painting of his wife.
Abdulmejid was given the title of General in the Ottoman Army, but did not in fact have strong military inclinations, and his more significant role was as Chairman of the Ottoman Artists' Society.
He is considered as one of the most important painters of late period Ottoman art.
His paintings of the Harem, showing a modern musical gathering, and of his wife, Şehsuvar Hanım, reading Goethe's Faust. were displayed at an exhibition of Ottoman paintings in Vienna in 1918. His personal self-portrait can be seen at Istanbul Modern.
Abdulmejid was an avid collector of butterflies, an activity that he occupied himself with during the last 20 years of his life. His favourite magazine was Revue des deux Mondes.
On 23 August 1944, Abdulmejid II died at his house in the Boulevard Suchet, Paris. His death coincided with the Liberation of Paris from the German occupation. He was buried in Medina, Saudi Arabia, by the order of King Saud of Saudi Arabia.