Marriage of King Mohammed VI and Miss Salma Bennani
In 2002, Morroco’s King Mohammed VI married a 24-year-old Lalla Salma Bennani, a computer engineer with the ONA Group. The King broke royal tradition by publicly acknowledging his bride.
For centuries, the monarchs of the Moroccan state – including the groom’s own father, King Hassan – kept their weddings a secret, and their brides in deep in the palace. They never designated queens, and referred to past royal wives as the “mother of” a king’s child.
On the evening of March 21st, 2002, King Mohammed VI of Morocco broke royal tradition as her and his fiancée signed the marriage contract at the Royal Palace in Rabat, in a private Muslim ceremony in front of family members.
In the days leading up to the wedding, the first photos of King Mohammed VI and Salma Bennani were issued, which showed a tall, red haired young woman. In another break with tradition, it was announced that Miss Bennani would be granted an official title – Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Salma. She, however, would not bear the title of Queen.
King Mohammed VI also indicated he would stick to one wife and not practice polygamy, as had all his ancestors.
The Royal Palace issued a statement to mark the event:
“On this happy and blessed day of Thursday, Moharram 6, 1423 of the Hegira, corresponding to March 21, 2002, the Royal Palace was brightened up by the sealing of the marriage act of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, May God assist him, in keeping with the Divine teachings and the Prophet’s tradition, to the pearl, radiant in her chastity, Lalla Salma. The act of this blessed marriage has been solemnly drawn during a joyful ceremony, held in the presence of the members of the illustrious royal family. May the Almighty preserve H.M. the King, bestow his protection on him and make that the sovereign’s life be filled with joy and happiness. May the Almighty protect His Royal Highness Prince Moulay Rachid and all the members of the illustrious royal family. God hears the prayers of those who implore Him. On this happy occasion, the act of marriage of Moulay Slimane Cherkaoui, son of her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Malika and of Mr. Mohamed Cherkaoui to Miss Hind Hrida was also sealed”.
According to royal sources, it was love at first sight when Mohammed and Salma first met at a party in 1999. Early on she reportedly set some ground rules for their courtship, insisting on a monogamous union as a condition for accepting King Mohammed’s proposal.Filed under Moroccan Royals
Tagged Lalla Salma, Mohammed VI, Wedding Anniversary.
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