Hassan II…A King Like No Other

King Hassan II of Morocco addresses journalists during a press conference in November 1976 in Paris.

The late HM King Hassan II, whose death anniversary is celebrated each year in July, is considered to be the strongest of the Alaouite rulers who have been enthroned in Morocco. His reign lasted from 1961 to 1999.

From an early age, Hassan II distinguished himself with an intelligence and insight that enabled him to take part in power alongside his father and take important decisions, from the period of the French Protectorate to Morocco’s accession to independence, thus arousing the respect and admiration of the settlers who found in him a strong successor to his father and a King unlike any other.

Since his enthronement, he has consistently implemented reforms aimed at consolidating the country’s development, whether by building roadblocks or encouraging investment, after having opted for the capitalist camp and invested himself, alongside the United States, in its war against Russia and the socialist camp, or by unifying the country and completing its territorial integrity. The “miracle” of the Green March is, without doubt, proof of its political acumen and foresight. He was also known for his strong commitment to the promotion of the values of tolerance and dialogue, especially towards his Subjects among Moroccan Jews, just as he had made the stability of the country a top priority.

Hassan II suffered injustice and betrayal from family and friends, as well as two coups d’état that almost cost him his life. But he escaped unharmed thanks to the divine blessing and the “baraka” he is endowed with and which he mentioned in his interviews and memoirs.

Hassan II had a charisma and leadership that was essential for anyone who approached him. He addressed his people as if they were his own children. As for the people, they were impatiently waiting for their speeches to be broadcast on official television, to know what they were going to say and see the way they dressed, the type of cigarettes they were going to smoke… because their every move was the subject of great interest from Moroccans, all categories combined.

And in addition to his encyclopedic culture, which has always earned him the admiration of his guests and his love of the arts and sports, Hassan II distinguished himself by a legendary elegance that many kings and heads of state envied him. He loved the refined Italian style and it was Francesco Smalto who was his favorite couturier.

Hassan II lived as a Great King. At his death, his funeral was also held under the sign of greatness, with the participation of a very large number of heads of state, as well as Moroccans from all over the Kingdom. It was the only funeral where Bill Clinton, president of the world’s most powerful nation, mingled with about two million people in the absence of a security plan. It was also the only funeral that brought together friends and enemies, Israelis and Palestinians, who went beyond all differences to mourn the passing of a King unlike any other, and whom History will forever remember.

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