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Queen to visit Pope Francis in April

By on Tuesday, 4 February 2014

The Queen with Benedict XVI in Edinburgh (PA)

The Queen with Benedict XVI in Edinburgh (PA)

The Queen is will visit Pope Francis at the Vatican on April 3, Buckingham Palace has confirmed. The Queen will be accompanied by Prince Philip and the Royal visit will be her first overseas trip for three years.

The Queen will visit with Pope at the Vatican after meeting the Italian President, Giorgio Napolitano, at the presidential palace in Rome.

A spokesperson for the Palace told The Catholic Herald that the Queen was “very keen” to meet with Pope Francis during her visit to Italy and it was also confirmed that the Pontiff will break with tradition by welcoming the Queen to the Domus Sanctæ Marthæ, the boarding house where he resides, rather than the Papal state apartments inside the Apostolic Palace.

In 1982 the Queen became the first British monarch to welcome a reigning Pope to Great Britain when she met Blessed John Paul II at Buckingham Palace.

Benedict XVI was the first Pontiff to receive a full state welcome to the UK for his 2010 visit, with the Queen meeting him in Edinburgh during the trip.