The longest-lived queen had a long list of important figures she met throughout her life, but papal visits were something else!
Figures such as Marilyn Monroe, Angelina Jolie, David Beckham, and Anna Wintour have had the pleasure of spending time with the Queen, but what has stood out is the number of U.S. presidents and popes who had this pleasure as well.
It’s not surprising because, during her 70 years on the throne and the longevity, as well as the short periods of government in the United States, 13 presidents have had the pleasure of meeting Queen Elizabeth. But that’s nothing compared to the long rule of Popes and she got to meet five active popes!
You might want to read this: Highlight’s on Queen Elizabeth II’s 70-year reign
During these seven decades, Queen Elizabeth witnessed historical events such as the post-war hardships and the recent pandemic due to COVID-19. She saw her entire family grow up, her five children, eight grandchildren, and twelve great-grandchildren.
Pope Pius XII
It is said that the first time Queen Elizabeth visited the Vatican was in 1951, still under the title of princess, and she met Pope Pius XII.
Pope John XXIII and her first Papal Meeting as a Queen
This being her second Vatican visit and her first one as a Queen on May 5, 1961. Along with Prince Phillip they met with Pope John XXIII.
Pope John Paul II
They had three meetings and initially met in 1980 when the Queen made a state visit to the Vatican. It was in 1980 when the Queen showed her interest in having the Pope visit Britain, so two years later, Pope John Paul II visited the UK’s main island.
1982 was a historic year for the Papal visit, as the UK was at war with Argentina over possession of the Falkland Islands. It is noteworthy that in one of his speeches, the Pope went off script to call for peace, asking the two countries to put aside the weapons of death.
On October 17, 2000, 18 years later, the Queen visited the Vatican to meet Pope John Paul II for the third time.
Pope Benedict XVI
Buckingham Palace has only received two Pontiffs, John Paul II in 1982 and Benedict XVI in 2010. The main reason for Pope Benedict XVI’s visit was for the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman who is now a saint.
In 2014 Queen Elizabeth visited Italy, and then she went to the Vatican where Pope Francis received her, making it the Queen’s seventh meeting with a pontiff and Francis, the fifth pope she has met. When Prince Phillip passed away, Pope Francis sent her a telegram with his condolences.