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Vatican. The Duchess of Monaco Charlene did not take advantage of the white privilege. In the papal presence, she appeared in a black robe

Vatican.  The Duchess of Monaco Charlene did not take advantage of the white privilege.  In the papal presence, she appeared in a black robe

Princess Charlene and Prince Albert of Monaco visit Pope Francis at the Vatican. The duchess’ black dress, common in papal audiences, has attracted particular media attention. The Duchess is one of the few people who are privileged to wear the white dress and veil during a meeting with the head of the Catholic Church.

The princely couple spoke with Pope FrancisThey also exchanged gifts. Prince Albert presented the Pope with a sketch of St. Peter’s Basilica. Saint John the Baptist, located in the Royal Palace of Monaco, and Francis gave the couple a picture of a child helping another child rise from the ground, with the inscriptions “Love” and “Help” on either side of the figure. However, it was not the gifts, but the color of Princess Charlene’s dress that especially aroused the media’s interest.

Biel in the public – a privilege only for the elect

During previous visits to VaticanAs in 2016, the Duchess of Monaco chose a white dress with a sash, a different type of veil. Charlene is one of only seven women in the world entitled to the white privilege (Italian: “ilivilegio del bianco”). It is a tradition whereby Catholic queens, dukes and princesses can wear white dresses and mantelas for a papal audience or important ceremonies of the Pope’s participation – such as beatification and canonization. Aside from the Princess of Monaco, the queens have the privilege of wearing white Spain Sophia and Letitia, Queens of the Belgians Paula and Matilda, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg Maria Theresa and Duchess of Marina Naples.

The Duchess of Monaco can use the so-called white privilegeVatican Media / Abaca / PAP

Contrary to comments in some media, the Duchess of Monaco did not violate protocol, nor did she make a “false mistake”. A person with the privilege of white is free to use it, and can choose the black style, which is familiar in the case of papal masses to other women. And the choice of Princess Charlene does not mean that she is giving up her privilege. Next time, you might visit the Pope in a white dress.

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Princess Charlene in the audience in 2016Photo by Alessandra Benedetti/Corbis via Getty Images

See also: Brad Pitt explains why he wore a skirt to the movie premiere: Wind and Wind…

Main image source: Vatican Media / Abaca / PAP

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