· On Thursday afternoon ·
Queen Elizabeth II's visit with Pope Francis lasted approximately 30 minutes on Thursday afternoon, 3 April.
Accompanied by her husband Philip the Duke of Edinburgh, she arrived in the Vatican around 3:20 pm with her entourage of seven people including the Ambassador to the Holy See Mr Nigel Baker.
She arrived by car from the Quirinale, and entered St Peter's Square, crossing the Arch of the Bells, she stopped in John Paul II Square. In the presence of a squad of Swiss Guard, Elizabeth II was welcomed by Cardinal Parolin, Secretary of State, by Archbishop Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States, and by Msgr Sapienza, Regent of the Prefecture of the Papal Household; Msgr Camilleri, Undersecretary for Relations with States; by Msgr Bettencourt, Head of Protocol; and by Msgr Robert Murphy, Official of the Secretariat of State.
Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, Archbishop emeritus of Westminster was also present at the entrance of a small hall near Nervi Hall. At 3:23 outside of the Pope's study, the Holy Father and the Queen cordially greeted each other and withdrew to a private discussion. The meeting which lasted around 20 minutes and the Duke of Edinburg as well as Msgr Miles, an official in the Secretariat of State, participated.
At the end of their discussion, they moved to a neighboring room for the traditional exchange of gifts. Elizabeth II offered Pope Francis a large wicker basket of food and drink specialities from the various royal estates: honey from Buckingham Palace; eggs from Windsor Castle in blue packaging with the coat-of-arms of the Royal Family; scotch whisky of their private summer residence Balmoral; cider and pineapple juice; as well as aspics, mustards, jams, biscuits and tea. Next to the basket were two silver frames with photographs of the Queen and Duke, and two smaller baskets with other organic products.
Pope Francis sent the Queen's great grandson Prince George of Cambridge, who was born last July,
a stone orb topped with a cross. And he gave the Duke of Edinburgh a triptych of medals of the Pontificate. Then Elizabeth II excused herself and the royal procession left the Vatican at 3:50.
St. Peter’s Square
Feb. 16, 2019
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