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Pope Benedict to meet with Prince Charles and Camilla
Pope Benedict XVI / Prince Charles
Pope Benedict XVI / Prince Charles

.- The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will travel to Rome for their first meeting with Pope Benedict XVI and will have a private audience with him later in April, it has been announced.

"Their royal highnesses' visit to the Holy See will include an audience with Pope Benedict XVI as well as a meeting with the Cardinal secretary of state to discuss, among other things, climate change and inter-faith understanding," a spokesman said, according to the Press Association.

Following Vatican protocol, Prince Charles will meet with Pope Benedict alone. They will then be joined by the Duchess Camilla and finally members of the royal household.

Camilla will be required to dress in black with a matching veil.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has announced that he has been speaking with Buckingham Palace about reversing a ban on heirs to the throne marrying Catholics, the Press Association says. Clarence House, the official residence of the Prince of Wales, would not comment on whether the proposal would be part of the discussions between Prince Charles and the Pope.

Charles had a private audience with Pope John Paul II when he visited the Vatican in April 1985.

The royal couple were both divorcees before their civil marriage in 2005, but the Press Association says that fact is not believed to be an issue for the Vatican.

Charles and Camilla will spend two days in Italy during their official trip, after which they will travel to Germany.

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