Photo Courtesy of the Holy See Press Office

Pope Receives Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall

Visiting During an Official Trip to Europe

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Pope Francis received Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla this afternoon, April 4, 2017, in the Vatican, marking His Royal Highness’ fourth visit to the Holy See.
According to a statement released by the Holy See Press Office, their Royal Highnesses met Pope Francis at the Paul VI Hall.  It was the first time that they had met.
«The discussion covered a number of topics of mutual interest,» the statement noted. «Pope Francis presented Their Royal Highnesses with a bronze representation of an olive branch. Their Royal Highnesses presented the Pope with a hamper of food from the Royal Estate at Highgrove, to be shared among the poor and homeless.»
«Following the Audience,» it added, «His Royal Highness, accompanied by the Foreign Office Minister of State for Europe and Africa, Sir Alan Duncan MP, met the Cardinal Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.»
The environment was a theme of the visit, it also noted, adding His Royal Highness joined a round-table discussion with senior Holy See officials on the subject.
«Their Royal Highnesses visited the Vatican Secret Archives and the Vatican Library, and were able to see a few of the valuable historic documents held in both collections.  His Royal Highness also met many of the British community working at the Holy See at a small reception at the Venerable English College,» the statement concluded.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are undertaking the trip to Europe, in fact, to emphasize the United Kingdom’s relations and that of its European partners in different areas, such as social cohesion, military links and the struggle against the trafficking of human beings,” stressed a press release of the British government last month announcing their visit. It also noted their intention to make a visit to the Vatican and meet Pope Francis.
In 2005, Prince Charles led the British delegation to Saint John Paul II’s funeral.
In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI received the prince and duchess on April 27. At the heart of their discussions, a Holy See Press Office had noted, were «human promotion and the development of peoples, the protection of the environment and the importance of inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue for the promotion of peace and justice in the world.»
The Prince of Wales has been to Italy 19 times, and the Duchess of Cornwall once. The Prince has gone twice to the Vatican and the Duchess once.
Prince Charles is heir to the throne of England and future head of the Anglican Church, according to the present statute of the Church of England, which goes back to the rupture of the Tudor King Henry VIII (1509-1547) with Pope Clement VII on November 17, 1534.

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

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