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Royals meet the Pope: 14 memorable moments

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Not even an injured kneecould keep Belgium's Queen Mathilde from having the honor ofmeeting Pope Francis. The 42-year-old ventured to the Vatican withhusband King Philippe to have a private audience withHis Holiness on March 9, 2015.

Queen Mathilde met with Pope Francis in 2015 Photo: Getty Images

Considered one of the highesthonors, the couple followed certain protocol like wearing white andexchanging gifts. This tradition has been followed by not just this royalcouple, but many before them. Just this past June, Spain's King Felipe and Queen Letizia had a private audience and his parents King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia did the same in April.

But this historic meeting isn't just a modern day occurrence. The Pope has beengreeting members of royal families for decades, especially before the division ofchurch and state. While royal families and the Vatican may not be as connected, it hasn't stopped these major powers from meeting with the Pope both atthe Vatican and the home countries of these monarchs.

Queen Rania of Jordan met with the Pope Photo: Getty Images

Inhonor of these meetings, HELLO! takes a look back at some of themore recent papal and royal unions - from Pope John Paul IIand Pope Benedict to the most recent pontiff - Pope Francis.

Photo: Getty Images

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