“A special great friend who was deeply respected. It is in these terms that King Mohammed VI refers to Elizabeth II in the message of condolence sent to his son, now King Charles III, and relayed by the official MAP agency in the hours following the announcement of the death. of the Queen at her Balmoral Castle on September 8.
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A message where the Moroccan monarch, after having recalled “the qualities and merits of this illustrious queen who stood, invariably, as a symbol of the greatness of the United Kingdom”, underlines the privileged relationship which unites the two royal families, British and Alawite. And points out how much “The Queen” “was particularly keen to strengthen the long-standing friendship between our two secular monarchies”.
“The Alawites and the Windsors have always had excellent relations, and this has never been denied throughout the seventy years of the reign d’Elizabeth II”, comments a former Moroccan diplomat posted a few years ago in the United Kingdom. Relationships punctuated by exchanges of visits, on one side as on the other.
If the arrival of Elizabeth II in Morocco in October 1980 naturally made a strong impression, the stay having been peppered with unexpected scenes, such as the one where we see the queen seated with Hassan II around a barbecue of lamb that ‘she eats in strict accordance with the Moroccan tradition – that is to say with her fingers -, she had, on the side of the British press, aroused some surprised comments and misunderstanding about the changes in the program of last minute.
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“Of course, there are certain differences in terms of protocol between the two monarchies, but they have a respect and an esteem that have never been denied. These program changes are above all to be read in the light of the context of the time and the desire of the late Hassan II to secure his travels and activities as much as possible, in particular following the abortive putsch attempts which were relatively recent at the time. , continues this diplomat.
According to an English journalist specializing in the monarchy, if the queen could have been surprised at the beginning, she would have left delighted with her stay in Morocco. And has always ensured that the friendship endures. It is also at his request that the princely couple formed by his grandson Harry and Meghan Markle, then pregnant with their first child Archie, will visit the kingdom in February 2019.
A prince in Dakhla
Moreover, Prince William (now first in the order of succession) would have fallen, like other VIPs like Barack Obama or the Kushner couple, under the spell of Dakhla. Before him, his great aunt, Princess Margaret – sister of Elizabeth II – appreciated also a lot of his stays in Morocco.
For its part, the Moroccan royal family does not miss any of the major events in the life of the Windsors: we were able to see Princess Lalla Meryem – alongside 26 other crowned heads – at Windsor Castle on May 18, 2012 for the lunch offered by Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee (60 years of reign). And Lalla Salma, mother of Crown Prince Moulay El Hassan, traveled to London in 2013 for Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton. And there is no doubt that they will be present at the funeral of Elizabeth II, which will be held in ten days, around September 19.
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King Mohammed VI, in accordance with Moroccan custom according to which Alaouite sovereigns do not attend the funeral, will not be at the ceremony, but he will be represented, as on the death of Jacques Chirac, or more recently for that of former UAE President Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, etc. Or as his father, King Hassan II, did in his time during the funeral of General de Gaulle.
“If the Moroccan royal protocol has not yet communicated on this subject, everything suggests that it is the crown prince Moulay El Hassan or his uncle, prince Moulay Rachid, who will make the trip, confides to JA a close source. From the palace. Adding that it will “probably be a delegation, which could include one of King Mohammed VI’s sisters, but also his cousin Lalla Joumala, who was Morocco’s ambassador in London for many years and who, at this title, has developed a close relationship with several members of the family royale British. »