Princess Lalla Salma, age 37, is the princess of Morocco and wife of King Mohammed VI. She is known – along with her red-haired beauty – for her dedication to philanthropic work, particularly her namesake Lalla Salma Foundation, which raises money to fight cancer. She was born in Fes from humble origins; her father, Abdelhamid Bennani, was a teacher, and her mother, Naïma Bensouda, passed away when she was three years old. But her lack of royal upbringing was no stumbling block for the brilliant future princess. Her grandmother, Hajja Fatma Abdellaoui, raised Salma and her sister. She studied computer science in Rabat (capital of Morocco) and married King Mohammed VI on 12 October 2001. The royal couple have two children: Moulay Hassan and Princess Lalla Khadija.
Princess Lalla Salma and Women’s right
Prior to King Mohammed VI’s reign, Moroccan kings had multiple wives, but Salma changed history when she and the king agreed to no additional spouses. She has proven to be a strong and a progressive voice in the Arab world and she encouraged her husband to take an interest in women’s rights. Just two years after they married, King Mohammed VI announced an improvement of Moroccan law concerning the status of women, recognizing them as adults for the first time. “How can society achieve progress while women, who represent half the nation, see their rights violated and suffer as a result of injustice, violence, and marginalization?” he asked to Moroccan parliament. Previously, women in Morocco had been treated as legal minors with no rights, no say in their marriage contracts, and limited access to divorce.
Her magnificent style
Princess Lalla Salma is also known for her magnificent caftans. A caftan is a cloth, historically worn by male judges; but gradually it became a dress for women during the late centuries. Salma’s caftans are ruled by tasteful proportions and rich embellishment. Her graceful elegance at these events caught the notice of the international press, who dubbed her the “most elegant guest” at the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.
See more of her beautiful caftans below: