Queen urged to 'come as you are' by Pope Francis after ditching protocol in

Pope Francis greets crowds at General Audience in Vatican City

Her Majesty is renowned for her diplomacy, having spent her 69 years on the throne, meeting leaders from around the world. She always remains apolitical and courteous during her extensive travels to visit various dignitaries. Yet, despite her own impeccable manners, sometimes meetings do not always go as intended.

When she first met Pope Francis in the Vatican seven years ago, she was late — and had to skip protocol in order to make up for it.

Royal photographer Arthur Edwards tweeted: “The Queen met Pope Francis in 2014 during a one day visit to .

“Normally HM [Her Majesty] would wear black.

“But after lunching with the Italian President, the Palace asked for a short delay so HM could get changed.”

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Queen Elizabeth II and Pope FrancisQueen Elizabeth II and Pope Francis (Image: Getty)

The Queen and Prince Philip in black to greet the Pope in 1980The Queen and Prince Philip in black to greet the Pope in 1980 (Image: Getty)

He added that the Pope rejected the idea of postponing their meeting, and instead suggested the Queen should just “come as you are”.

As a result the monarch ended up wearing lilac instead of black, a colour which traditionally symbolises piety and humility and which is usually worn for papal audiences.

The monarch also met the Pope in a small papal studio instead of the apostolic palace.

Correspondent Lizzy Davies noted: “She appeared relaxed and at ease with the 77-year-old pontiff, arriving with the Duke of Edinburgh for the brief meeting, which lasted under 20 minutes.”

It was also the Queen’s first trip overseas since she travelled to Australia in 2011.

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The Queen greeting Pope John Paul II in 2000The Queen greeting Pope John Paul II in 2000 (Image: Getty)

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As a meeting between the supreme governor of the Church of England and the head of the Roman Catholic church, it was astonishing that both appeared to embrace a more informal approach, as evident in the Queen’s choice of clothing.

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Britain’s ambassador to the Holy See Nigel Baker also described the meeting as a “reaffirmation” of the bond between the Holy See and the UK, especially as it took place 100 years after the formal re-establishment of diplomatic relations between them.

However, papal expert Rebecca Rist warned that the visit may have had underlying

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