Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco
|Princess Consort of Morocco|
|Tenure||21 March 2002 – present|
|Spouse||Mohammed VI of Morocco|
|Issue||Crown Prince Moulay Hassan
Princess Lalla Khadija
|Dynasty||Alaouite (by marriage)|
|Father||Al-Haj Abdel Hamid Bennani|
10 May 1978 |
|Moroccan Royal Family|
HRH Princess Lalla Lamia
Princess Lalla Salma (Arabic: الأميرة للا سلمى; born Salma Bennani; 10 May 1978, Fes) is the princess consort of Morocco. She is the wife of King Mohammed VI and the first wife of a Moroccan ruler to have been publicly acknowledged and given a royal title.
Early life and education
Her parents were al-Haj Abdel Hamid Bennani, a schoolteacher, and Naima (née Bensouda), who died when Salma was three years old; from then on she and her sister were raised by her maternal grandmother. She lived in Rabat, with her cousin Saira, and the two are commonly seen together in public.
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. 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
Salma married King Mohammed VI on 12 October 2001 (sadaq) and on 21 March 2002 (zafaf), at the Dar al-Makhzin, Rabat, and was granted the title of Princess Lalla, with the style of Royal Highness on her marriage. ("Lalla" is a traditional honorific for high-born and royal women that approximately corresponds to the western "Lady" for noblewomen.)
The royal couple have two children:
- Moulay Hassan, Crown Prince of Morocco (born 8 May 2003)
- Princess Lalla Khadija of Morocco (born 28 February 2007)
Salma has kept quite a low profile as first lady of Morocco, although a more public one than her predecessors. She supports cancer associations and the Fez Sacred Music Festival.
On 29 April, the day after the 2011 Marrakech bombing, she was attending the wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine Middleton.
Salma has represented the King and Morocco in meetings and gatherings in Thailand, Japan, and France. She founded a cancer prevention association in Morocco and has been involved in HIV/AIDS prevention in Africa work. Recently, she visited Tunisia and Saudi Arabia. She attended the wedding of Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg, and Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy in 2012. In April 2013, Salma attended the inauguration of the new Dutch King Willem-Alexander in Amsterdam.
Titles, styles, and honours
Princess Salma of Morocco
|Reference style||Her Royal Highness|
|Spoken style||Your Royal Highness|
Titles and styles
- 10 May 1978 – 21 March 2002: Miss Salma Bennani
- 21 March 2002 – present: Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Salma
- Dame Grand Cross of the Order of Leopold II of Belgium (5 October 2004).
- Dame Grand Cross of the Order of Isabella the Catholic of Spain (14 January 2005).
- Profile, nettyroyal.nl; accessed 20 September 2014.
- "RWB" (in French). Reporters sans frontières (Morocco)/VSD. 7 March 2002. Archived from the original on 25 December 2003. Retrieved 20 September 2014. "Tout le royaume 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."
- The Alawi Dynasty – Genealogy – website The Royal Ark
- Paris Match royal blog
- The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor: Princess Lalla Salma Gets Ethereal. Orderofsplendor.blogspot.co.uk (4 June 2010); retrieved 9 April 2012.
- The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor: Royal Fashion Awards: Foreign Royals at the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge's Wedding. Orderofsplendor.blogspot.co.uk (29 April 2011); retrieved 9 April 2012.
- Lalla Salma Association Against Cancer – website UICC
- Boletín Oficial del Estado