The Queen will welcome His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to the United Kingdom, when he arrives in Edinburgh on Thursday 16th September, at the start of his Papal Visit.
At Edinburgh airport, the Pope will be greeted by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. They will both travel the Palace of Holyroodhouse where The Pope will be welcomed by Her Majesty The Queen.
The programme at the Palace features a Private Audience, speeches by both The Queen and The Pope as well as a reception for 400 guests.
Media wishing to cover the visit should be accredited by the Foreign Office in the first instance. See www.thepapalvisit.org.uk.
The Media Arrangements are detailed in an operational note issued by the Buckingham Palace Press Office. For further information, please call the press office on 020 7930 4832.
The Royal Family and The Vatican:
While this is the first Papal Visit to the UK, Pope John Paul II paid a Pastoral Visit to the UK in 1982, which featured an audience with The Queen at Buckingham Palace in the 1844 Room on 28 May 1982. This took place at the start of the Pope’s 6 day tour of Britain. The Queen and the Pope exchanged gifts: The Pope gave a bas-relief of the crucifixion in silver and The Queen gave a facsimile of the Sobieski Hours.
In addition, The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, visited the Vatican on 5th May 1961 (Pope John XXIII), 17th October 1980 (Pope John Paul II) and 17th October 2000 (Pope John Paul II).
Furthermore the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales have both visited the Vatican on different occasions. The Duke was received by Pope John Paul II on 10th April 1990 in his role as the President of WWF and also represented The Queen at the Inaugural Mass of Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter's Square, Vatican City, on Sunday 24th April 2005.
The Prince of Wales, along with the Duchess of Cornwall, had a Private Audience with Pope Benedict XVI on 27th April 2009. The Prince also represented The Queen at the funeral of Pope John Paul II on 8th April 2005, having met Pope John Paul II on 29 April 1985, along with the Princess of Wales, on a visit to Rome.