King of Morocco since 23 July 1999, succeeding his father King Hassan II. He has continued the opening-up and democratization that characterized the last years of his father's reign. He sacked the immensely powerful Interior Minister, Driss Basri, to allow former opposition leader Abderrahmane Youssoufi to function effectively as prime minister.

He was born in Rabat on 21 August 1963. Baccalaureate 1981, B.A. in law 1985 (Rabat), Doctor of Law 1993 (University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, France) where he delivered a thesis on EEC-Maghreb relations. In 2003 he married a 24-year-old computer engineer Salma Bennani, and gave her the title of princess. (Previous royal brides had only been "mother of the princes".) They had a son Moulay Hassan on 8 May 2003. Before then his heir presumptive had been his brother Moulay Rachid (b. 1970).

< Hassan II - Morocco

Official-looking biography at
More objective and interesting analysis of modern Morocco at

Sultan of Morocco 1953-1955, displacing his nephew Sultan Muhammad V, who had been deposed by the French colonial authorities for refusing to cooperate with them. Born in 1889, Muhammad Ben Arafa was a grandson of Sultan Muhammad IV (1859-1873) and thus great-uncle to Muhammad V. But nationalist agitation soon forced the restoration of Muhammad V, who led the country to independence the following year, 1956.

The Sultans of Morocco were restyled King from 1957, but kept their regnal numbers (Muhammad V and Hassan II). However, when the son of Hassan II succeeded him in 1999, he became King Muhammad VI, thus discounting the two-year rule of Muhammad Ben Arafa, who had died in 1976.

< Muhammad V - Morocco - Muhammad V >

Last Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, born Vahidettin in 1861, succeeded his brother Muhammad V on 3 July 1918, taking the name Muhammad VI (Arabic) or Mehmet VI (Turkish). The First World War was about to end and Turkey had lost all its empire; the Young Turks were in charge, and Westernization was about to sweep the remains of the country. He was deposed on 1 November 1922 by Mustafa Kemal, later known as Kemal Atatürk. The monarchy lingered for another year in the nominal form of a caliphate. Muhammad VI fled, and died in San Remo, in Italy, in 1926.

Sultan Muhammad VI of Granada 1360-1362, succeeded his cousin (?) Ismail II, but was deposed and died the same year -- presumably meaning deposed and killed but I can't confirm that -- by an earlier sultan, Muhammad V, brother of Ismail II.

Emir Muhammad VI of the Marinid Emirate of Morocco 1386-1387. The dynastic line of the Marinids is very complicated; they were constantly deposing each other. A grandson of Emir Ali (1331-1351), he deposed his distant relation Muhammad V but was in his turn quickly removed in favour of the restored Emir Ahmad (1374-1384 and 1387-1393), another distant relation of some kind.

Caliph Muhammad VI of the Hafsid Caliphate of Tunisia 1526-1542. He succeeded his father Muhammad V and was deposed in favour of his son Ahmad III. The Hafsids were officially caliphs but were commonly known as sultans.

Bey Muhammad VI al-Habib of Tunis 1922-1929, succeeding his distant relative Bey Muhammad V. He was succeeded by another distant relative, Ahmad II, but did have a son of his own, who seized the throne as Muhammad VIII al-Amin in 1943 and was briefly the first head of state of independent Tunisia.

Imam Muhammad VI al-Mansur of Yemen 1890-1904, technically still within the Qasimi dynasty that had ruled since 1597, but no real relation to his predecessors: he is described as eighth in descent from the dynastic founder al-Qasim I. However, he was the first imam with any effective control since Yemen had fallen into anarchy in 1857, and he ruled as a vassal of the Turks, who had occupied the country since 1872. He was succeeded by his son Yahya (1904-1948), who in 1918 with the fall of the Turkish Empire became the first king of Yemen.

Minor rulers from John Morby, The Wordsworth Handbook of Kings & Queens.

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