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Queen Mathilde, on crutches, meets Pope Francis at the Vatican

March 9, 2015
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Noteven an injured knee could keep Queen Mathilde from having the honor of meetingPope Francis. Just a little over a week after attending a meeting at the EU Parliament on crutches, the 42-year-old ventured to the Vatican with husband King Philippe to have a private audience with His Holiness on Monday.

The Pope exchanged gifts with the King and Queen Photo: Getty Images

Clearly still suffering from her injury, the Queenarrived in a wheelchair before transitioning over to crutches for the remainderof her visit.

Queen Mathilde arrived in a wheelchair to the Vatican Photo: Getty Images

Thefashionable royal looked elegant in a cream knee-length dress with a matchingcoat and nude pointed flats. Out of respect for the holy nature oftheir settings, she kept her head covered with a white lace veil.

The Queen happily accepted a rosary from the Pope Photo: Getty Images

Duringtheir visit, the Pope exchanged a series of gifts with the royal couple and gavethem each a rosary. Both the King and Queen appeared delighted at the meeting, having warm smiles throughout. But despite her obvious joy, Mathilde wasalso in obvious discomfort, needing help to stand and walk.

The Pope gave the Queen a helping hand with her knee injury Photo: Getty Images

Thisis the third public engagement the Belgium royal has made on crutches, thefirst being on February 25. The royal palace declined to comment muchabout the Queen's accident, only confirming that Mathilde had sustained a kneeinjury during a fall.

Queen Mathilde first showed up on crutches on February 25 Photo: Getty Images

The accident seems to have happened in late February as she wasnot pictured wearing the brace during a meeting with Ertharin Cousin, directorof the United Nations World Food Program, on February 23. She will have a bracefor several weeks, but in the meantime will attend her pre-scheduledengagements.

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