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King Hassan II

(1929 - 1999)

King Hassan II was the King of Morocco from 1961 till his death in 1999. He was the 21st Monarch of the Alaouite Dynasty.

Hassan II was born in Rabat, Morocco on July 9, 1929.  From his childhood, he was prepared by his father, the late His Majesty Mohammed V, for the responsabilities he was later to assume as he was the right hand to the King in Affairs of State.

To this end, Hassan II received a modern education at a high school in Rabat where he studied alongside young Moroccans drawn from all the regions and all conditions of life in the country. His studies included Arabic language and Literature, but also the normal curicculum of a modern school; in addition, he was given personal training in Statesmanship by the late King Mohammed V. After brilliant studies at the University of Bordeaux in France, he obtained the higher University Diploma in Law.

King Hassan II shared his fathers' exile in Madagascar at a time when the French Protectorate transferred the royal family to the Island of Corsica on August 20, 1953, then to Madagascar in Africa in January 1954; during all this period of time he was the political advisor to his father.

On the restoration of Moroccan independence, Hassan II played the leading part in the creation of the Armed Forces of which he became the Chief of Staff in 1956.

On July 9, 1957, Hassan II was officially invested as Crown Prince and Heir to the Throne by Late His Majesty Mohammed V, and, in 1960, he was appointed head of the Government. On the February 26, 1961, he was invested as King of Morocco after the demise of his father.

King Hassan died of a heart attack on July 23, 1999, and was succeeded by his son 36 year old Sidi Mohammed. Hassan is remembered fondly by Israelis for his constructive role in the peace process. During the 1970s, a series of secret meetings between Israelis and Egyptians were held under Hassan's auspices and helped pave the way to the historic peace agreement. he continued to be a facilitator in later years, hosting Israeli and Arab leaders, and encouraging them to work toward peace agreements.

Hassan II had five children.

Sources: Kingdom of Morocco