Morocco: Firmly in the Saddle

For Hassan II, boldness and surprise are the keys to survival

If any contemporary ruler is as crafty and consistently surprising as Shakespeare's Henry V, it is surely King Hassan II of Morocco. Like Prince Hal, Hassan was once a high-spirited playboy who has managed to disarm his critics by adroitly consolidating his power. Since he inherited the throne at age 31 from his father Mohammed V in 1961, Hassan has worked hard to make himself and his kingdom Western, Arabic and African all at once. He can play by turns the extravagant...

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