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Queen Elizabeth leaves Rome after day of meetings

Visit with Pope Francis, lunch with Napolitano for monarch

03 April, 17:10
Queen Elizabeth leaves Rome after day of meetings (See related) (ANSA) - Rome, April 3 - Following a private meeting with Pope Francis inside the Vatican Thursday and lunch with President Giorgio Napolitano, Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip, the duke of Edinburgh, flew out of Rome to return home.

The royal couple's brief one-day visit began at the Quirinal presidential palace, where they had a quiet lunch with Napolitano and his wife Clio.

The monarch's motorcade then took them to the Vatican for a short meeting with the pope, their first encounter with Francis, who was sworn in just over a year ago. The 87-year-old queen had been scheduled to visit Rome in March 2013, but that was cancelled due to a gastrointestinal illness that sent her to hospital briefly.