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Queen Elizabeth to meet Pope Francis at the Vatican

Queen Elizabeth will meet with the Pontiff on 3 April, Buckingham Palace announced today.

"Better start cleaning the sideboards..."
Image: AP Photo/Andrew Medichini

TIME TO GET the good dishes out.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are to meet Pope Francis at the Vatican as part of an official visit to Italy.

The Queen, who is the head of the Church of England, will have an audience with the Catholic leader on 3 April in Vatican City, following a private lunch hosted by the Italian president.

Buckingham Palace announced today that the Queen will be visiting the country following an invitation from the president.

It will be the first time that the British monarch has met Pope Francis since he was elected in March of last year.

She has however made three previous visits to the Vatican in 1961, 1980 and 2000, during which she met with Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II.

The Catholic Herald reported last year that Pope Francis sent greetings to the Queen just two days after his election.

US President Barack Obama is due to meet Pope Francis at the Vatican seven days before the Queen’s visit.

Read: Pope Francis says the internet is a gift from God >

Read: Government to reopen Vatican embassy, 26 months after closing it >

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