Vatican City, 4 April 2014 (VIS) – Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, accompanied by His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, arrived in the Vatican yesterday, following their visit to the Quirinal Palace, at around 3.20 p.m.

They were greeted in Piazzetta John Paul II (between the Paul VI Hall and the Palazzo della Canonica) by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States and Msgr. Antoine Camilleri, under secretary for Relations with States. They were awaited inside the room by Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor, archbishop emeritus of Westminster.

The Holy Father received Her Majesty the King and the Duke of Edinburgh in his study next to the Paul VI Hall for a private meeting, which lasted around twenty minutes. This was followed by greetings with the entourage and an exchange of gifts in the adjacent room. The gift offered to the Pope by Her Majesty was a large basket of food products (jams, drinks etc) produced on the various royal estates. The Pope gave Her Majesty a facsimile of a valuable document conserved in the Vatican, by which the cult of St. Edward the Confessor, an ancestor of the British royal family and founder of Westminster Abbey, where he is buried) was extended to the universal Church in 1679, by Pope Innocent XI. The Pope also gave an ornament composed of a lapis lazuli sphere topped with a silver cross of St. Edward, for the Queen’s great-grandson, Prince George of Cambridge. He gave a triptych of pontifical medals to the Duke of Edinburgh.

The royal entourage left the Vatican shortly before 4 p.m.