Meeting between Pope Francis, Queen Elizabeth
April 03, 2014
The Holy See Press Office announced that Pope Francis is receiving Queen Elizabeth II in audience on April 3.
“The Queen was due to come to Rome in 2013 at the private invitation of President Napolitano of Italy … but had been unable to come because of ill health,” Nigel Baker, the United Kingdom’s ambassador to the Holy See, said in an interview with Vatican Radio.
“She doesn’t like leaving obligations unfulfilled so she was determined to reinstate that visit,” he added. “It is normal when the Queen comes to Rome that she would visit the Pope, so we're delighted that the Queen and Pope Francis will have that chance to get together.”
Because the Queen's meeting with the Pontiff was not a formal state visit, protocol was notably relaxed. Nevertheless it was a "recognized" meeting, marking the 100th anniversary of the resumption of diplomatic ties between Britain and the Holy See.
Queen Elizabeth has previously met six times with four previous popes.