Buckingham Palace has confirmed that the Queen is to meet Pope Francis on April 3, reports The Tablet.
Her Majesty's meeting with the Pope will take place during her first overseas visit for three years.
The Queen, who will be accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, is travelling to Rome at the invitation of the President of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano. The Queen and the Duke will have a private lunch with the President and, in the afternoon, be received in an audience with the Pope at the Vatican.
The visit to Pope Francis is being described as 'informal'. The Daily Mail reported that it will take place at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, Francis’ residence and guesthouse, rather than in the Apostolic Palace where heads of state are normally greeted.
The Queen first visited the Vatican as monarch in 1961, when she met with Pope John XXIII. She visited Pope John Paul II there in 1980, and in 1982 made history by welcoming him in London, during his British visit.
The Queen to meet Pope Francis on April 3 in Rome (news.com.au)
Queen Elizabeth II will visit Pope Francis in the Vatican on 3 April (Vatican Insider)