After many months of negotiation, Abd al-Hafid, Sultan of Morocco at the time, signs the Treaty of Fez in March, 1912, making Morocco a French Protectorate. His brother, Yusef, was then proclaimed Sultan by the French administration, while Abd al-Hafid was exiled to a palace in Tangier.
In 1927, Yusef suddenly dies and his son Mohammed V succeeds to the throne. During his reign, he becomes known for being against Vichy’s anti-Jewish legislation, making him a real opponent to the French. Mohammed V is the grandfather of the current King of Morocco, Mohammed VI.
In 1947, King Mohammed V demands the independence of Morocco in his famous Tangier Speech, alongside his son and future King of Morocco, Hassan II. The speech sparked reactions and provoked riots across the country that were encouraged by the French.
The French, furious against Mohammed V, decide to arrest him and exile him and his family to Corsica. They were transferred to Madagascar in 1954 and, in 1955, he returned to Morocco, where he was once again recognized as Sultan.
November 18, 1955 was a sunny day. A day many will remember, as the future King of Morocco, Mohammed V parades through the streets and receives an extremely warm welcome from his people, who had missed him dearly.
In late 1955, Mohammed V negotiates the independence of Morocco with both the French and the Spanish, who had the northern and southern parts of the country. On March 2, 1956, Morocco is officially declared independent and, one year later, Mohammed V’s reign as king begins.