Lalla Salma Bennani
The princess consort of Morocco, Lalla Salma, in her 34th year
Lalla Salma in 2012
Princess consort of Morocco
Tenure21 March 2002 – present
BornSalma Bennani
(1978-05-10) 10 May 1978 (age 44)
Fez, Morocco
Spouse
(m. 2002)
Issue
FatherHadj Abdelhamid Bennani
MotherNaïma Bensouda[1]
ReligionSunni Islam

Lalla Salma (born Salma Bennani, Tamazight: ⵙⴰⵍⵎⴰ ⴱⵉⵏⵏⴰⵏⵉ, Arabic: سلمى بناني, 10 May 1978) is the princess consort of Morocco. She is married to King Mohammed VI, and the first wife of a Moroccan ruler to have been publicly acknowledged and given a royal title.[2][3][4] Since she has not been seen by media since December 2017,[5][6] it has been speculated[by whom?] that the couple are divorced.[7][8]

Early life and education

She was born as Salma Bennani in Fez,[9] although some sources cite Marrakech as her place of birth.[10]

Her father is Hadj Abdelhamid Bennani, a university teacher who taught at l'École normale supérieure de Fès[11] and her mother is Naïma Bensouda,[12] who died in 1981, when Salma was three years old. From then on she and her sister Meryem were raised by her maternal grandmother, Hajja Fatma Abdellaoui Maâne. She lived in Rabat, with her half cousin Saira, and the two are commonly seen together in public.[13]

She was educated in Rabat, where she attended a private school, Lycée Hassan II, Lycée Moulay Youssef, and l'École Nationale Supérieure d'Informatique et d'Analyse de Systèmes.[14] She met her husband during a private party in 1999. After completing her engineering studies, she worked for a few months as an information services engineer at ONA Group, the country's largest private holding company (which is also controlled by the Moroccan Royal Family).

Marriage and children

Lalla Salma got engaged to King Mohammed VI on 12 October 2001.[15] Their first wedding ceremony, the sadaq ceremony (or proclamation of marriage) took place on 20 March 2002; and the zafaf (or celebration of marriage) took place on 12 and 13 July 2002[14][16] at Dar al-Makhzen (the principal Royal palace) in Rabat.[17]

Issue

Name Date of birth Place of birth Age
Crown Prince Moulay Hassan (2003-05-08)8 May 2003 Dar al-Makhzen, Rabat, Morocco 19
Princess Lalla Khadija (2007-02-28)28 February 2007 Dar al-Makhzen, Rabat, Morocco 15

Activities

Lalla Salma has kept quite a low profile as Princess of Morocco, although a more public one than her predecessors. She supports cancer associations and the Fez Sacred Music Festival.

Lalla Salma has represented the King and Morocco in meetings and gatherings in Saudi Arabia, Japan, Thailand, Palestine, Tunisia and France. On 29 April 2011, she attended the wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine Middleton. She also attended the wedding of Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg, and Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy in 2012 and 2013 inauguration of King Willem-Alexander.[18][better source needed]

In 2005, Lalla Salma founded a cancer prevention association in Morocco.[19] She created the Lalla Salma Foundation – Prevention and Treatment of Cancer[18] and has also been involved in HIV/AIDS prevention in Africa.[18] In 2006, Princess Lalla Salma was named a Goodwill Ambassador of the World Health Organization for the Cancer Care, Promotion and Prevention.[18] Besides being involved in cancer and HIV/AIDS prevention, she also supports and encourages women's empowerment.[20]

Honours

References

  1. ^ Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco turns 36: facts about the royal. 10 May 2014.
  2. ^ Saad719 (10 May 2018). "Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco". The Royal Watcher. Retrieved 1 May 2022.
  3. ^ "First Lady of Morocco | Current Leader". Current Heads of State & Dictators | Photos and bios of the current Heads of State, Dictators and First Ladies. 25 May 2009. Retrieved 1 May 2022.
  4. ^ McLaughlin, Chelsea (25 February 2019). "As Meghan and Harry tour Morocco, the mystery of its missing Princess looms in the background". Mamamia. Retrieved 1 May 2022.
  5. ^ "'Vanished without a trace': Mystery of Morocco's 'ghost princess'". NZ Herald. Retrieved 1 May 2022.
  6. ^ "Where is Morocco's Princess Lalla Salma now?". South China Morning Post. 17 March 2022. Retrieved 1 May 2022.
  7. ^ Brittani Barger (14 April 2018). "What's next for Princess Lalla Salma after rumoured divorce from the Moroccan King?".
  8. ^ "'The Ghost Princess': Where has the First Lady of Morocco Disappeared?". Al Bawaba. Retrieved 1 May 2022.
  9. ^ "Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco turns 36: facts about the royal". Hello!. 10 May 2014. Retrieved 2 December 2021.
  10. ^ "RWB" (in French). Reporters sans frontières (Morocco)/VSD. 7 March 2002. Archived from the original on 25 December 2003. Retrieved 28 August 2015. yaume bruisse de l'événement à venir. Courant mars, sa majesté Mohammed VI se mariera. L'heureuse élue, Salma Bennani, est une jeune femme de 25 ans, native de Fès et issue de la haute bourgeoisie.
  11. ^ "Maroc : Lalla Salma, la princesse aux pieds nus – Jeune Afrique". JeuneAfrique.com (in French). Retrieved 10 June 2022.
  12. ^ "Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco turns 36: facts about the royal". Hello!).
  13. ^ "Who is Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco?". Royal Central. 10 May 2018. Retrieved 1 May 2022.
  14. ^ a b "Who is Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco?". Royal Central. 10 May 2018. Retrieved 2 December 2021.
  15. ^ "L'annonce du prochain mariage de Mohammed VI lève une hypothèque au Maroc". Le Monde.fr (in French). 15 October 2001. Retrieved 5 June 2022.
  16. ^ "King Mohamed VI of Morocco sits with his wife Princess Lalla Salma at..." Getty Images. Retrieved 5 June 2022.
  17. ^ "King Mohammed VI of Morocco and Princess Lalla Salma divorce". HELLO!. 22 March 2018. Retrieved 1 May 2022.
  18. ^ a b c d "Who is Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco?". royalcentral.co.uk. 10 May 2018. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  19. ^ "Lalla Salma Association Against Cancer". UICC. Archived 29 May 2012 at archive.today
  20. ^ "HRH Princess Salma Bennani Biography". Arab Royal Family.
  21. ^ "Boletín Oficial del Estado" (PDF).
  22. ^ "Princess Lalla Salma Receives WHO Gold Medal". The North Africa Post. 26 May 2017. Retrieved 22 September 2018.