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Happy birthday Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco: Ten facts about the royal

May 10, 2014
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Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco celebrates her 36th birthday on 10 May.

To honour the Moroccan royal's special day, HELLO! Online has gathered a list of ten facts you may not know about the Princess.

 1. The Princess was born Salma Bennani on 10 May 1978, in Fès, the third largest city of Morocco, to parents Al-Haj Abdel Hamid Bennani and Naima Bensouda. Her mother, Naima, died when Salma was only three so she was raised by her maternal grandmother. 

2. During her education, the future Princess took a keen interest in engineering and after completing her studies she spent time as an information services engineer at ONA Group, a company which specialised in industrial and financial services.

3. In 1999 Salma met her future husband, King Mohammed VI, at a private party. The King surprised many in Morocco when he announced his future wife's name as traditionally wives of Moroccan Kings had remained private figures.

4. The couple married in a religious ceremony in March 2002 and excited many royal watchers by releasing photos of the beautiful ceremony. 

5. Upon marriage, Salma was granted the title of 'Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Salma' becoming the first wife of a Moroccan King to be given a royal title. 'Lalla' is a traditional name given in honour to women in high society and royalty.

6. Princess Lalla Salma often represents Morocco at events around the world, attending the wedding of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in London in April 2011 and King Willem-Alexander's investiture in the Netherlands in April 2013. 

7. After attending the Dutch investiture, the Princess stormed to style success when HELLO! Online readers chose Lalla Salma's two stunning outfits as their favourites of all the guests' outfits.The beautiful Princess had dazzled in a cream Moroccan caftan and sparkling tiara at the state dinner ahead of the ceremony, winning 38% of the votes. A day later the royal wowed in a heavily embellished green caftan and gold heels, once again topping the votes with 45%.

8. In Morocco the royal couple have maintained a strong union and have become very popular with the people. In May 2003, Princess Lalla Salma gave birth the couple's first child Crown Prince Moulay Hassan of Morocco, who was followed by Princess Lalla Khadija of Morocco in February 2007.Celebrations in Morocco as Prince Moulay Hassan celebrates his 10th birthday

Celebrations in Morocco as Prince Moulay Hassan celebrates his 10th birthday

9. The Princess shares her birthday with singer Bono, supermodel Linda Evangelista and comedian Al Murray.

10. While traditionally royal wives in Morocco have kept a low-profile, Princess Lalla Salma has been keen to use her position to help others. The royal has championed many charities close to her heart, founding a cancer prevention association in Morocco and being involved with HIV/AIDS prevention in Africa.

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