King and Queen of the Belgians Visit the Vatican

  March 9, 2015 at 4:54 pm by

Today King Philippe and Queen Mathilde paid a visit to the Vatican.

They arrived at the Apostolic Palace at 10:30am, greeted by Georg Gaenswein, the prefect of the papal household. Then they had a private audience with Pope Francis that lasted half an hour.

View the full image at La Libre

During the audience, gifts were exchanged. The King and Queen brought to the Pope a set of nativity figurines made by a Belgian artist and an official portrait with a handwritten message: “For Pope Francis, our greatest affection and as a token of our deepest respect.” Pope Francis gave to the King, the Queen and their delegations a rosary each.

After the audience, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, and the new Foreign Minister of the Pope, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher.

About the meetings, a statement released by the Vatican said, “Attention was then paid to matters of mutual interest, such as social cohesion, the education of the young, the phenomenon of migration and the importance of intercultural and interreligious dialogue.”

Later, the King and the Queen attended a reception at the residence of the Belgian Ambassador. The visit to the Vatican was originally scheduled for December 12, 2014 but was postponed due to the death of Queen Fabiola.

Queen Mathilde wore a cream knee-length dress with a matching coat and nude flats, the head was covered with a white headscarf, a mantilla. As a Catholic Queen, Mathilde is provided the privilège du blanc, that allows only Queens of Catholic monarchies to wear white in the Vatican.

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