Queen Elizabeth II to visit Rome

President Napolitano and Pope Francis to receive the Queen

Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, will travel to Rome on an official visit on Thursday 3 April.

The Queen had been due to visit Italy last March but the trip was cancelled at the last minute after she was admitted to hospital with gastroenteritis.

The visit is at the invitation of the president of Italy Giorgio Napolitano with whom the royal couple will have a private lunch at the Quirinale palace.

Following the lunch the Queen, who is also the head of the Church of England, will have an audience with Pope Francis at his residence at Casa S. Marta, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh.

The last time the Queen visited Italy was in 2000 when she toured Rome and Milan. The last time she met a pontiff was in 2010 during the UK visit of Benedict XVI.