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Who is Princess Lalla Meryem of Morocco?

Credit: UN Women/Karim Selmaoui/CC/Flickr

Born in Rome, Italy, on 26 August 1962, to King Hassan II and his second wife, Lalla Latifa Hammou, Lalla Meryem was the first child and eldest daughter of the couple; her birth, reportedly, took place in Italy because the family was on holiday there at the time.

She would go on to have four siblings: King Mohammed VI, Princess Lalla Asma, Princess Lalla Hasna, and Prince Moulay Rachid.

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Lalla Meryem was educated at the Royal Academy in the Royal Palace and received her Baccalaureat in 1981 from the University of Mohammed V in Rabat. She was appointed President of Social Works of the Royal Army Forces by her father the following year. She also trained in Paris with UNESCO after her graduation.

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Three years after graduating, she married Fuad Filali in 1984 with whom she had two children, Sharifa Lalla Soukaïna Filali (b. 1986) and Moulay Idris Filali (b. 1988). The couple divorced in 1999. From her daughter, Lalla Meryem has two grandchildren; her daughter had twins in 2015: Hassan Regragui and Aya Regragui.

Since her brother, King Mohammed’s divorce from Princess Lalla Salma, Lalla Meryem has appeared at the side of her brother, as an unofficial ‘First Lady’ of Morocco, for important events like the state visit from Spain and helped welcome the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to Morocco in 2018.

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Her Royal Highness is passionate about children and women’s rights and has worked with these causes from an early age. She works to defend those who are most vulnerable which includes these two groups.

The Princess works with different charitable organisations including UNICEF which she is the President of the Moroccan association, member of the Honorary Committee of the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children, President of the National Union of Moroccan Women, and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador regarding their projects for women and children.

In March 2019, King Mohammed approved her nomination as Goodwill Ambassador of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in the field of combating underage marriage and promotion of family values and the institution of marriage.

Lalla Meryem hold the national honour of Knight Grand Cordon of the Order of the Throne, and her foreign orders include Honorary Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (UK), Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Isabella the Catholic (Spain), Grand Cordon of the Order of Merit (Lebanon), and Grand Cross of the Order of Prince Henry (Portugal).

The Moroccan Royal Family is notoriously private, and the Moroccan media is careful on their reporting regarding members of the family. As such, what we know about the royals, especially the princesses, is limited.

About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. Her love of royals began in middle school, and she's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites.