King Mohammed VI maintains the trappings of royalty. Some accounts emphasize his man-of-the-people reputation -- one acquaintance of the king told Traub of the king's distaste for the baise-main, the ritualized kissing of the hand -- but Mohammed doesn't shy from other pomp and circumstance. When he presented the new constitution, he appeared on Moroccan television seated at a desk, but on his grand throne.
Above, the king sits on horseback during the bay'a in July 2011. The bay'a is an annual celebration of his accession to the throne in 1999. On the fourth day of national celebrations, Traub writes, "as many as 5,000 leading subjects of the realm, including government ministers, prostrate themselves before the king and his horse, shouting three times, 'Our Lord bestows his blessing on you!' The king, dressed in a cream-colored, hooded djellaba, does not dismount, for his feet -- and his feet alone -- will not touch the ground."