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International royals

Spanish media report divorce of the King of Morocco and Princess Lalla Salma

King Mohammed VI of Morocco and his wife of 16 years, Princess Lalla Salma, are divorcing, according to Spanish media. It is possible that the divorce is already final. The news comes on the day on which the couple would’ve celebrated their 16th wedding anniversary. There has been no official confirmation from the Department of Communication of the Royal Court.

The King and Princess Lalla Salma, born Salma Bennan, proclaimed (the sadaq) their marriage on 12 October 2001 and celebrated their marriage (the zafaf) on 21 March 2002. She was granted the title of Princess Lalla, with the style of Royal Highness on her marriage. The couple have two children together, Moulay Hassan, Crown Prince of Morocco (born 8 May 2003) and Princess Lalla Khadija of Morocco (born 28 February 2007)

The reported divorce comes just weeks after the King had heart surgery in Paris. A photograph was distributed after the successful surgery for a heart rhythm disorder where the King appeared with his brother, Prince Mulay Rachid; his sisters, the Princesses Lalla Meryem, Lalla Asma and Lalla Hasna; and his children, Crown Prince Moulay Hassan and Princess Lalla Khadija. Princess Lalla Salma was notably absent from the photograph. The King is still recovering from the surgery and has had to cancel a state visit from the King and Queen of Spain.

Princess Lalla Salma has, in fact, been absent for a while. She has not carried out engagements since December 2017 when she visited the Mohammed VI Museum in Rabat. She usually keeps a low profile, but she has been more in the public eye than any of her predecessors. In 2011, she attended the wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and the then Catherine Middleton. She also attended the wedding of Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg, and Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy in 2012 and the inauguration of the new Dutch King Willem-Alexander in Amsterdam in 2013.