Later today, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will arrive in Casablanca at the start of a 3-day Official Visit to the Kingdom of Morocco, and thus we are taking a look at the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh’s 1980 State Visit to Morocco, which was one of the more difficult of the State Visits during her Reign (video below with Courtiers and Dignitaries explaining more).
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh were welcomed by King Hassan II of Morocco and the Moroccan Royal Family in Rabat at the end of a long Tour of the Mediterranean, which also included State Visits to Italy, Vatican City, Tunisia, and Algeria, in October 1980. However, things got off to a bad start because the welcoming Banquet wasn’t ready, and the Royal couple had to wait in their car for half an hour.
That evening, King Hassan (wearing the Order of the Bath) hosted a State Banquet in honour of the Queen (in the Girls of Great Britain & Ireland Tiara and the Order of Muhammad) and Duke of Edinburgh (wearing the Order of Muhammad) at the Royal Palace of Rabat, which was also attended by Crown Prince Mohammed (in the Royal Victorian Order), Princess Lalla Meryem (wearing the Royal Victorian Order), Princess Lalla Asma, Princess Lalla Hasna, and Prince Moulay Rachid.
The next day, King Hassan hosted an open air luncheon in the desert the following day, which was proceeded by long displays of dancing and equestrianship, leaving the Queen and Duke, and cousin Tsar Simeon of Bulgaria, in an open tent while he attended to official matters and delayed lunch till 4 pm.
That evening, the Queen (wearing the Vladimir Tiara with a Moroccan Belt and Bracelet, a gift from the King) and Duke hosted a Dinner in honour of King Hassan on the Royal Yacht Britannia, which the King had requested to postpone by an hour at the last minute, that was denied. The King arrived in a great rage with more members of the Royal Family than had been invited, even threatening to break off a trade deal and ordering the British Ambassador to leave the country in the morning, possibly the worst diplomatic incident expected from the visit. However, the Queen smiled and carried on and by the end of the evening, the King was all smiles for the rest of the State Visit, and was even invited on a State Visit to the UK in 1984.