The Prince and Princess of Monaco visited the Vatican on Monday, January 18. This was the fourth time the Princess has officially visited the country. Her last visit took place in November 2015, when she participated in a conference for health care workers. She was invited to give a speech concerning her foundation, Fondation Princess Charlene de Monaco, that aims to improve children’s swimming abilities and knowledge about water and thus prevent drowning.
This time, the couple travelled to the Apostolic Palace for a private meeting with Pope Francis. Their Serene Highnesses sat down to discuss issues concerning the environment, peace and immigration as well as the good bilateral relations between Monaco and the Vatican. They also met the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Patrolin. At the end of their meeting, the Prince and Princess presented the Pope with a medal, a fruit basket and a cheese platter as well as the Monaco edition of the encyclical Laudato si’. Pope Francis gave the couple a Pontifical Medal and a copy of his apostolic exhortation, Evangelii gaudium, asking them to follow his lead and protect the neediest in the world.
Princess Charlene was dressed in white for the occasion, wearing a dress, a coat and a veil. She accessorised with a white clutch, nude heels and red lipstick. Princess Charlene is one of seven women who have the privilege of the white, meaning that she is allowed to wear white when meeting the Pope. Only designated Catholic queens and princesses have been given the privilège du blanc, including Queen Letizia of Spain and Queen Mathilde of Belgium. The Princess converted to Roman-Catholicism in 2011 before marrying Prince Albert. Traditionally, women’s dress code for meeting with the Pope is a long, black dress and a black veil or hat. Prince Albert was dressed in a black suit.
Photo: Prince’s Palace of Monaco