Charlene of Monaco in the Vatican: her sartorial about-face in front of the pope surprises

Charlene of Monaco in the Vatican: her sartorial about-face in front of the pope surprises

This Wednesday, July 20, Albert II of Monaco and his wife Charlene were traveling to the Vatican to meet Pope Francis. For the occasion, the princess was dressed in a totally black outfit. A surprising choice knowing that she is one of the rare personalities to be able to wear white, as was the case in 2016, during their last visit to the sovereign pontiff.

A discreet visit. This Wednesday, July 20, the Prince Albert II of Monaco and his wife Charlene were received by Pope Francis in his apartments in the Vatican Apostolic Palace. A trip that had not been formalized and had remained secret until the arrival of the princely couple at the headquarters of the Catholic Church. According to rumors, Charlène could even have made the trip alone, but it was finally accompanied by her husband that she was received by the sovereign pontiff.

And for this private audience, the Princess of Monaco was wearing a black dress with long sleeves and a pair of nude pumps from Louis Vuitton. Adorned with an elegant rosary of pearls with a gold cross, Charlene was also wearing a black lace mantilla. A color that is not insignificant because black is a formal obligation for any woman being received by the Pope. However, during their previous meeting in January 2016, the former South African swimmer had opted for a white outfit.

Charlène Monaco authorized to wear white in the presence of the pope

A protocol derogation stemming from a tradition called “white privilege“. By virtue of this prerogative reserved for only a few Catholic queens, princesses and duchesses, the latter are permitted during audiences with the pope, to wear white vestments and mantillas, usually reserved for the sovereign pontiff. But on several occasions, queens and princesses eligible for this “white privilege” have chosen not to exercise this right by donning a black outfit in a gesture of respect for the Holy Father.

Born a Protestant, Charlene of Monaco converted to Catholicism in 2011, two months before her marriage to Albert II of Monaco. Before meeting Pope Francis, the princess had visited her predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, in January 2013. A visit during which Prince Albert II had presented his wife to the sovereign pontiff. And a few months later, the couple was also present to attend the inaugural mass of Pope Francis.

© DanaPress

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Charlene of Monaco
This Wednesday, July 20, Prince Albert II of Monaco and his wife Charlene were received by Pope Francis in his apartments in the Vatican Apostolic Palace.

© Claudia Albuquerque

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Charlene of Monaco
A trip that had not been formalized and had remained secret until the arrival of the princely couple at the headquarters of the Catholic Church

© Claudia Albuquerque

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Charlene of Monaco
According to rumors, Charlène could even have made the trip alone, but it was finally accompanied by her husband that she was received by the sovereign pontiff.

© Claudia Albuquerque

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Charlene of Monaco
And for this private audience, the Princess of Monaco was dressed in a black dress with long sleeves

© Olivier Huitel

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Charlene of Monaco
Charlene of Monaco also wore a pair of nude pumps from Louis Vuitton

© Bruno Bébert

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Charlene of Monaco
Charlene of Monaco was also adorned with an elegant rosary of pearls with a gold cross

© Denis Guignebourg

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Charlene of Monaco
Finally, Charlene of Monaco was wearing a black lace mantilla.

© Jean-Francois Ottonello

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Charlene of Monaco
A color that is not insignificant because black is a formal obligation for any woman being received by the Pope

© DanaPress

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Charlene of Monaco
However, during their previous meeting in January 2016, the former South African swimmer had opted for a white outfit.

© Bruno Bébert

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Charlene of Monaco
A protocol derogation from a tradition called “the privilege of white”

© Claudia Albuquerque

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Charlene of Monaco
This prerogative is reserved for only a few Catholic queens, princesses and duchesses,

© Bruno Bébert

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Charlene of Monaco
By virtue of this prerogative, these women are authorized during audiences with the pope to wear white vestments and mantillas, usually reserved for the sovereign pontiff.

© Claudia Albuquerque

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Charlene of Monaco
But on several occasions, queens and princesses eligible for this “white privilege” have chosen not to exercise this right by donning black attire in a gesture of respect for the Holy Father.

© Claudia Albuquerque

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Charlene of Monaco
Born a Protestant, Charlene of Monaco converted to Catholicism in 2011, two months before her marriage to Albert II of Monaco.

© Bruno Bébert

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Charlene of Monaco
Before meeting Pope Francis, the Princess had visited his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, in January 2013.

© Bruno Bébert

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Charlene of Monaco
A visit during which Prince Albert II presented his wife to the sovereign pontiff

© Bruno Bébert

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Charlene of Monaco
And a few months later, the couple was also present to attend the inaugural mass of Pope Francis.

© Bruno Bébert

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Charlene of Monaco
Prince Albert II of Monaco and Princess Charlene during the “Monaco ePrix” championship in Monaco, April 30, 2022

© Bruno Bébert

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Charlene of Monaco
Princess Charlene of Monaco during the opening ceremony of the 61st edition of the Monte-Carlo Television Festival at the Grimaldi Forum, in Monaco, on June 17, 2022.

© Claudia Albuquerque

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Charlene of Monaco
Prince Albert II of Monaco, Princess Charlene and their children at the “Monaco ePrix” championship awards ceremony in Monaco, April 30, 2022

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