Remembering the UK state visit to the kingdom of Morocco 1980 “royal tour from hell”

Yesterday TRH prince harry duke of sussex and the heavily pregnant meghan duchess of sussex arrived in Morocco for 3 day visit. They were received by the young HRH crown prince moulay hassan of Morocco and other government dignitaries. This short visit however reminisces the awkward state visit his grandmother HM queen elizabeth ii experienced in 1980. The queen and prince phillip arrived in Morocco on the invitation of HM king hassan of Morocco, the current king’s father. The tour was described as a royal tour from hell due to the fact that nothing happened as it was previously arranged.

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The queen and prince phillip arrived for the state banquet to find that the palace was closed. Later the king arrived an hour late. At an open air lunch under the desert moroccan tents the king left the queen, prince phillip and tsar simeon of bulgaria to attend offical duties and arrived at 4pm. The king changed his mind on going to the leonard cheshire homes of the disabled leaving the queen to attend alone. The Queen was preparing to host the return banquet aboard Britannia when at the last minute the Minister of the Court showed up and said the King wanted the banquet delayed for a few hours. The Queen told him the banquet would go ahead as planned but she fully understood if the king would be late for dinner. He arrived 54 minutes later. He brought his own food because he was worried about being poisoned. The king later complained that his family were not knighted and ended up causing a diplomatic stir claiming the British ambassador be fired.

However all in all the tour was successful despite all the weird happenings. Queen elizabeth and king hassan were all smiles and he was later invited for a state visit to the UK in 1984. The king’s paranoid nature during the tour could however be explained by the fact that in 1971 and 1972 there were assassination attempts against him by some government officials which were unsuccessful leaving him to be very firm in his remaining reign.

Images from getty images

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