Royal Protocol 101: Royals Meeting the Pope

Pope Francis Met King Felipe And Queen Letizia - VaticanSince King Felipe and Queen Letizia met with Pope Francis today–their first overseas engagement as King and Queen–I thought it was an appropriate time to discuss the protocol of Popes and Royals.

Princess Charlene

Le Privilège du blanc

“Privilege of the White” describes the tradition of allowing Catholic queens, princesses, and archduchesses to wear white in the presence of the Pope. You can view a complete list of who’s eligible to wear white, as well as “controversial beneficiaries” here.

QEII Pope John Paul IIDress

Others should wear black gowns, arms covered, hemlines beneath knees, and black tuxedos or suits. However, royals and many women dignitaries have begun wearing different colors than the traditional black. Most notably, Queen Elizabeth wore blue during her last meeting with His Holiness, back in January.


As the Pope is the head of the Catholic Church, and Vatican City, it is appropriate for Catholic royals to genuflect, and, should he extend his hand, to kiss his ring. For non-Catholics, it is a sign of respect to curtsy or bow, however, not mandated.

The Pope, in turn, is often seen bowing politely to royalty, even those of different faiths.


Royals, as well as non-royals, should address him as Your Holiness or Holy Father.


Royal Rewind: Week of April 4, 2014

William and Kate St. Andrews' graduation 2005

This past week in Royal news…

Since releasing last week’s latest family portrait, many have pointed out the similarities between Prince George and his mother, the Duchess of Cambridge.

Prince William, Prince Harry, and Kate attended friends’ Lucy Meade and Charlie Budgett’s wedding. Cressida was not in attendance.

Kate shopped at the Gap, 500 yards from Kensington Palace, while security waited outside in running vehicle.

Prince William, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen unveiled a new horse statue among cherry blossoms.

Worries grow as details continue to be released regarding the Royal tour Down Under.

Queen still kindles her love of horses at age 88.

The Duke of York, Prince Andrew, was bitten by the selfie bug.

Princess Eugenie visited hospital where she underwent spinal surgery as a child, opened a new wing.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh met with the Pope at Vatican. Pope presented gift for Prince George.

Harry and Cressida’s engagement will be ‘sooner than many people think.’

Prince Harry visited Olympic Park, cuteness ensues.

Around the web…

Great piece from Victoria Arbiter, a second-generation Royals correspondent, on living at Kensington Palace.

Who wore it best from the ladies at Go Fug Yourself, as awesome as you’d expect.

PopSugar covered the ‘Evolution of the Royal Portrait.’

Kate Middleton Review wrote insightful piece on Kate’s shopping trip to the Gap.

Love, Lola wrote about the possible reasons Cressida wasn’t at the ‘Walking with the Wounded’ charity event, and also Royal bling. Both topics that prove more than intriguing.

And, as expected, everyone’s prepping for the Royal Tour… less than two days to go! More details to follow…