QUEEN ELIZABETH II VISITS POPE FRANCIS IN THE VATICAN

Queen Elizabeth II traveled to Rome and Vatican City on April 3, 2014, in a visit that was originally planned to take place in 2013 but was postponed due to illness on the Queen’s part.  Accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen arrived at Ciampino Airport to begin her visit.  Italian President Giorgio Napolitano hosted a private lunch for the couple at the Quirinale Palace.  The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh proceeded with their visit by paying a personal call to Pope Francis at his study and not in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace where official visits to the Pontiff are normally held.  In keeping with the informal nature of the meeting, the Queen wore a lilac-colored outfit and not the traditional black gown or dress accompanied by a veil.  This is the fifth time the Queen has met with a Pope in the Vatican, with her first visit taking place in 1951 when, as Princess Elizabeth, she met with Pope Pius XII.   The Queen met with Blessed John XXIII in 1961 and Blessed John Paul II in 1980 and 2000.  Her meeting with Pope Benedict XVI in 2010 took place in Britain.  This was the first time the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh met Pope Francis, and the visit took place on the centenary of the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Great Britain and the Holy See.  Gifts were exchanged during the meeting.  Pope Francis gave the Queen a 1679 parchment with an ‘Urbi et Orbi’ message by Cardinal Cesare Facchinetti.   The Queen in turn presented the Pontiff with a hamper of British goods produced on royal property, including jams, venison, and a bottle of whiskey.  Pope Francis also gave a gift of a lapis lazuli cross for Prince George of Cambridge.  Photos by Getty Images.

 

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