The mother of Mohamed VI, the unknown princess of Morocco, dies at 78

The Moroccan population is in mourning this Sunday. As reported this Saturday by the Moroccan Royal Palace, the princess Lalla Latifa, widow of King Hassan II and mother of the country’s current monarch, Mohamed VI, died at the age of 78 due to pancreatic cancer for which she was being treated in Paris. In fact, her state of health had recently been so delicate that in April her son and king Mohamed VI He traveled to France as soon as Ramadan ended and he finished presiding over several religious ceremonies in Morocco to visit his mother, whose health was already very deteriorated. Apparently his death occurred in the Dar Essalam palace, in Rabat.

The official spokesperson of the Royal Palace announces with great sadness and great regret the death of Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Latifa, may she rest in peace on Saturday 29 June 2024“, the Royal Palace published in a statement, which also said: “We mourn this painful loss and ask Allah Almighty to grant the deceased His infinite mercy and grant her paradise and prolong the life of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may Allah preserve him and perpetuate his glory. To Allah we belong and to Him we will return.“, concludes the text, which invites people to pray for the deceased. A princess whom few faithful knew, however, because she never had a public role, never appeared alongside her husband and children and always kept away from the media.

Today, however, the name of Lalla Latifa Amahzún has resonated not only in Morocco, but throughout the world. The princess, of Berber origin, was born in 1946 in Khenifra into the prominent Amazún family, from the Zayán tribe. Her father, Hasan Uld Muha u Hamú Zayaniwas the pasha of Khenifra, in the interior of Morocco. On November 9, 1961, she married Hassan II, who that year had already married a cousin of his, called Lalla Fatima. The monarch lived with both women, but had only three children with Lalla Latifa:Lalla Maryem, Lalla Asma and Lalla Hasna) and two men, Mohammed VI and Prince Moulay RachidAlways known for her discretion, she was a much-loved princess within the Alaouite kingdom, especially for the charitable causes she championed, as she was the honorary president of the Animal Protection Society and president of the Lalla Asma Foundation for deaf children.

It became even more discreet after the king’s death. Hassan II in 1999, because years later Lalla married again to her husband’s trusted man, Mohamed Mediouriwho protected him as a bodyguard and head of security for the Royal House until the end of his days. They both lived in the Château de Betz, a small town of a thousand inhabitants located 60 kilometres northeast of Paris, which Mohamed VI had inherited from his father and which, curiously, three centuries ago belonged to a princess of Monaco who had to flee at the hands of the French Revolution. The marriage between Lalla and Mohamed was not without its troubles, as the princess’s new husband suffered an assassination attempt in 2019 at the entrance to the Al Anuar mosque in Marrakech during the Friday sermon, when seven men armed with pistols tried to end his life.

There is no doubt that one of those who have felt the most grief over the loss of the princess is King Mohamed VI himself, who adored his mother so much that in 2018 he inaugurated the Mosque of Her Highness Princess Lalla Latifa in Salé in recognition of your contribution. The building has traditional Andalusian and modern architecture and capacity for 1,800 faithful, with two prayer rooms – for men and women -, a Koranic school, accommodation for the imam and the muezzin, and shops.