Reasons Queen of Belgium Wears White When Meeting Pope

Reasons Queen of Belgium Wears White When Meeting Pope

Queen Mathilde of Belgium: Exercising the Papal Privilege

Queen Mathilde of Belgium holds a unique privilege when it comes to meeting the pope at the Vatican. Unlike most, who are expected to wear black attire during such encounters, Queen Mathilde has the honor of wearing white.

The “Privilège du Blanc”

This special privilege, known as the “privilège du blanc,” is exclusively granted to Catholic royalty from a select group of countries. Currently, this honor extends to the Catholic monarchs of Spain, Luxembourg, Belgium, and Monaco, as well as members of the House of Savoy.

Tradition and Change

Traditionally, the Vatican protocol required women to don black attire, including a black mantilla and a dress with long sleeves, for official papal audiences. However, in recent decades, this custom has become optional.

Queen Mathilde’s Papal Audience

In a recent instance, Queen Mathilde of Belgium, alongside her husband, King Philippe of the Belgians, exercised this unique privilege during their meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace on September 14, 2023.

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