It has been announced by the Ministry of Royal Palaces that King Mohammed VI will no longer celebrate his birthday each year with an official ceremony at the Royal Palace, which is held on 21 August.
In a statement, it was said that the King had decided “not to organise, from this year, the official ceremony” for his birthday. No reason has been given.
The official celebrations were cancelled in 2014 after the death of his aunt, Princess Lalla Fatima Zahra but resumed the following year.
His birthday celebrations coincide with the celebration of Youth Day marking the contributions of the youth to Morocco. Youth Day had previously been celebrated on King Mohammed’s father, on 9 July, while he was on the throne.
The announcement comes as no surprise as the Ministry asked institutions across the kingdom to celebrate the annual Throne Day (30 July) with less extravagance; this came in the year that His Majesty celebrated 20 years on the throne.
The King will turn 56 this year. He was born in Rabat in 1963 as the second eldest child and first son of King Hassan II and Princess Lalla Latifa Amahzoune. He has one older sister, Princess Lalla Meryem; he also has two younger sisters (Princesses Lalla Asma and Lalla Hasna) and one younger brother, Prince Moulay Rachid.
King Mohammed has been on the throne since 23 July 1999 when his father died at the age of 70. His heir apparent is his only son and elder child, 16-year-old Crown Prince Moulay Hassan. The King had been married to Princess Lalla Salma, with whom he had the Crown Prince and a daughter, Princess Lalla Khadija; however, they have since divorced.