His Majesty King Mohammed VI (Arabic: الملك محمد السادس للمغرب) a.k.a. King Mohammed Ben Al-Hassan was born in Rabat, Morocco on August 21, 1963, the eldest son and second child of Hassan II of Morocco and his second wife Lalla Latifa Hammou , a Berber. Before becoming king, he held the title of crown prince. He was enthroned July 23, 1999, hours after the death of his father King Hassan II. The young King soon became known as a moderniser who brought about a constitutional monarchy.
H.M. King Mohammed VI is the 18th king in the Alaouite dynasty which has reigned in Morocco since 1666.
His father, the late King Hassan II, was keen on giving him a religious and political education from an early age. At the age of four, he started attending the Qur'anic school at the Royal Palace where he learned how to write and read, learned the Qur'an by heart, and received a religious and traditional education.
After primary and secondary studies at the Royal College and after he received his Baccalaureate in 1981, H.M. King Mohammed VI obtained in 1985 a B.A in law at the college of law of the Mohammed V University in Rabat. His research paper dealt with "the Arab-African Union and the Strategy of the Kingdom of Morocco in matters of International Relations."
In 1987, he obtained his first "Certificat D'Etudes Supérieures" (CES) in political sciences, and in July 1988, he obtains a "Diplôme des Etudes Supérieures du Doctorat" in public law.
In order to complete his training, in November 1988 he underwent a few-months training in Brussels with Jacques Delors, then President of the European Commission.
On October 29, 1993, he obtained, at the French University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis , the title of Doctor in law (Ph.D.) with "Very Honorable" distinction and the congratulations of the jury, for his thesis on "EEC-Maghreb Relations."
H.M. King Mohammed VI was promoted to the rank of Major General on July 12, 1994.
Shortly after he took the throne, he addressed his nation via television, promising to take on poverty and corruption, while creating jobs and improving Morocco's human rights record. Mohammed VI is generally opposed by Islamist conservatives. His support for political pluralism has angered some fundamentalists. He also created a controversial new family code, or Mudawana , which granted women more power. The law came into effect in February, 2004.
H.M. King Mohammed VI has one brother Prince Moulay Rachid and three sisters Princess Lalla Meryem, Princess Lalla Asma, and Princess Lalla Hasna.
In Rabat, on March 21, 2002, the king married Salma Bennani (now Princess Lalla Salma), a computer engineer from Fes, whom he gave the title Princess, the first time a Moroccan sovereign's wife has been so acknowledged. (Several previous wives of Morocco's rulers, however, have been incorrectly styled as "empress" or "queen" by European observers.) At the time the couple met, she was working in the IT department of ONA (Omnium Nord Afrique), the largest mining company in Morocco and whose former president was the king's former brother in law Fouad bint Abdellatif Filali .
The King and Princess Lalla Salma have one child, Crown Prince Moulay Hassan , who was born on May 8, 2003 and circumcised on April 13, 2005.
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Last updated: 05-16-2005 21:25:52