2 AUGUST 2005

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Morocco's much-loved Princess Lalla Salma made a bright impression on her subjects when she joined in celebrations to mark the sixth anniversary of her husband's accession to the throne. Dressed in a vibrant green caftan which perfectly complemented her flowing red locks, the former computer scientist appeared on the balcony of the royal palace in the northern city of Tetouan to watch the festivities.

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Well-wishers gathered below were especially interested in the little boy she was holding in her arms, as two-year-old Moulay Al-Hassan will one day succeed his father King Mohammed and thereby become the focus of the annual event.

The responsibilities of leadership are still a long way off for the crown prince, however. And it seems likely he will inherit a rather different monarchy than the one his father took over in 1999, as Mohammed is working tirelessly to modernise the country.

One of the clearest signs of his progressive approach has been the increasingly high-profile role taken by his wife. Just last month Lalla Salma made an unprecedented solo visit to Tokyo where she was received by the Japanese royal family. Since their wedding in 2002 the princess has also played an important part in receiving foreign dignitaries and marking state occasions.

princess lalla salma,moulay al-hassan,king mohammed

The princess and her two-year-old son, Crown Prince Moulay Al-Hassan, watch from the balcony of Tetouan Palace
Photo: Rex
Click on photo to enlarge

A sea of well-wishers, all dressed in white, turned out to mark the anniversary of King Mohammed's accession
Photo: AFP

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