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updated: 4/3/2014 10:02 AM

British queen meets with Pope Francis at Vatican

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  • Britain's Queen Elizabeth II smiles as she talks to Pope Francis during a meeting at the Vatican, Thursday, April 3, 2014. Queen Elizabeth II has come to Rome for lunch with Italy's president Giorgio Napolitano ahead of the British monarch's first meeting with Pope Francis.

    Britain's Queen Elizabeth II smiles as she talks to Pope Francis during a meeting at the Vatican, Thursday, April 3, 2014. Queen Elizabeth II has come to Rome for lunch with Italy's president Giorgio Napolitano ahead of the British monarch's first meeting with Pope Francis.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

VATICAN CITY -- Britain's Queen Elizabeth II has paid a private call on Pope Francis at the Vatican, making him the fifth pontiff she has met.

She arrived Thursday afternoon wearing a lilac-colored spring coat and matching hat that are practically the same colors as the wisteria blooming over much of the Italian capital. The monarch, accompanied by her husband, Prince Philip, was ushered into a small room near the Vatican's public audience hall for the 30-minute meeting.

Previously, Elizabeth had met with four pontiffs, starting with Pius XII in 1951, a year before her accession to the throne.

Earlier in the day, Elizabeth lunched with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano at the Quirinal palace. Illness had forced her to cancel a 2013 trip to Rome when she was supposed to see Napolitano.

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