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Cablegate: There's a New Princess in the Royal Family

VZCZCXRO2938
OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHKUK RUEHROV
DE RUEHRB #0404 0610918
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 020918Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY RABAT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5986
INFO RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE 3242
RUEHNK/AMEMBASSY NOUAKCHOTT IMMEDIATE 3437
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS IMMEDIATE 4553
RUEHCL/AMCONSUL CASABLANCA IMMEDIATE 2759

UNCLAS RABAT 000404

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA/MAG

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PINR PREL MO
SUBJECT: THERE'S A NEW PRINCESS IN THE ROYAL FAMILY

1. This cable is sensitive but unclassified. Please protect
accordingly.

2. (SBU) A salute of 21 cannon shots boomed across Rabat
from El Mechouar Palace shortly after 8 p.m. on February 28
to announce the birth of the king's second child, Princess
Lalla Khadija. Naming the baby Khadija, the name of the
Prophet Mohammed's first wife, links the new princess to
Islam and to her lineage as a descendant of the prophet. The
nine-member medical team consisted of six Moroccans, one
American, and two Frenchmen. The princess weighed 4.16 kg
(about 8 punds) and measured 49 cm. (about 23 inches); and,
her mother, Princess Lalla Salma, and she were in good
health, according to the official announcement.

3. (SBU) Celebrations started almost immediately in many
streets and people assembled by the palace. Folklore groups
and music bands continued chanting and dancing through the
night. The King and his brother, Moulay Rachid, greeted the
crowd in front of El Mechouar Palace before welcoming
journalists and broadcast media to take pictures of the
newborn princess.

4. (SBU) The Royal Household, Protocol and Chancellery
announced the princess's birth on RTM and 2M television
stations shortly after 8 p.m. The public was told that
"Visitors Books" are available at the royal palace, in the
prefectures and at Moroccan embassies abroad for those
wishing to congratulate the monarch and the royal family.
The Ambassador expects to sign.

5. (SBU) The country expected Lalla Salma to give birth
February 15. When the baby was overdue, rumors flew around
the country. Some said the baby was a boy, others that it
was a girl. As the days passed, the rumors were embellished:
the baby had been born impaired or that the baby was
stillborn. Before Princess Lalla Khadija's birth, the Royal
Household, Protocol and Chancellery reassured Moroccans that
Princess Lalla Salma was in good health and that they would
be informed when the baby was born. The opacity and
surrounding speculation are characteristic of palace
activities.


******************************************
Visit Embassy Rabat's Classified Website;
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/rabat
******************************************

Riley

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