Monday, 09 March 2015
Philippe and Mathilde met with the pope at the Vatican on Monday, with the queen using crutches to meet Francis, following a recent accident. An interpreter was present during the meeting which lasted for about 20 minutes. It is the couple’s first time visiting the Argentinian pope, along with 12 other people but not their 4 children.
Mathilde was wearing white, which is a privilege enjoyed solely by Catholic queens, and a veil on her head, arrived in a wheelchair and used crutches to meet the pontiff.
The queen injured her knee during a recent winter sports holiday with her children and has since been getting around in a wheelchair and on crutches.
After their audience, the king and queen met with the cardinal secretary of state, Pietro Parolin, and the pope’s new Foreign Affairs minister, archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher. These meetings dealt with youth education, social cohesion, migration, cross-cultural and interfaith dialogue, and the future of Europe, a Vatican press release revealed.
The royal couple had planned to visit the Vatican last December but the trip was postponed when Queen Fabiola died.