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Queen Mathilde of Belgium meets the Pope on crutches following knee injury

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Queen Mathilde of Belgium didn't let her knee injury stop her from meeting with the Pope on Monday morning. The determined royal accompanied her husband King Philippe to the Vatican City, where they were treated to a private audience with the religious leader.

Donning an elegant white dress and matching coat, Mathilde was exercising her "privilège du blanc" right – the tradition whereby certain Catholic queens and princesses are allowed to wear white during an audience with the Pope.

Mathilde covered her hair with a delicate, cream lace mantilla out of respect for Pope Francis, and completed her chic look with simple, nude kitten heels.

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Pope Francis treated King Philippe and Queen Mathilde to a private audience

While the queen of the Belgians did her best to not focus on her injury, it was clear that Mathilde was still in some discomfort as she needed help to stand and walk around. The 42-year-old royal had also arrived in a wheelchair before transitioning to crutches at the start of the meeting.

Mathilde and Philippe looked to have enjoyed their private audience, exchanging gifts with the Pope and beaming as they chatted away. The couple were also presented with a gift-wrapped rosary each.

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Queen Mathilde suffered a knee injury in late February but will carry out her engagements as planned

While it is not yet clear when Mathilde's accident happened, it seems to have taken place at the end of February.

The royal palace declined to comment much about the incident, only confirming that the queen had sustained a knee injury during a fall. She will continue to wear a brace for several weeks and will carry out her pre-scheduled engagements as planned, they added.

queen mathilde3 © Photo: Getty Images
An injured Queen Mathilde still needed help in standing and walking around

This is the fourth engagement that an injured Mathilde has attended while on crutches. Her first appearance was during a meeting at the EU Parliament in Brussels on 25 February, when she was joined by her supportive husband who assisted her throughout the day.

Mathilde also paid a visit to the City Hall in Haacht, where she spoke to throngs of children during a walkabout. The mum-of-four also attended a conference on Ebola earlier this month in Brussels, where she was again spotted on crutches.