Sunday, April 27, 2014

Canonisations of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II **

Photo: Centro Televisivo Vaticano
Today, Pope Francis, in the presence of Pope Benedict XVI, canonised two of his predecessors, Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II. Among the hundreds of thousands of people at the Vatican and in the adjoining Roman streets attending the canonisation were also a number of royal, grand ducal and princely pilgrims.

As reported previously, the Luxembourgish delegation included Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa, their sons Prince Louis and Prince Sébastien as well as their daughter-in-law Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie. As always the Grand Duchess rocked the privilège du blanc, one of the world's most exclusive clubs though with Belgium's new(-ish) and third living Queen, Mathilde, it just got a little bigger. Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie also brought along one of her nieces; I'm fairly certain it is Isaure de le Court, daughter of Jean-Charles and Isabelle de le Court, who is also the goddaughter of the Hereditary Grand Duchess as well as living in Luxembourg.
Photo: Centro Televisivo Vaticano
Liechtenstein, in turn, was represented by Prince Hans-Adam II and Princess Marie as well as Prince Nikolaus, the Principality's non-resident ambassador to the Holy See, and Princess Margaretha who  as per our attentive reader Isabelle (Thank you!), humble me is still searching for pictures - brought along two of their children, Princess Maria-Anunciata and Prince Josef. (Seems like that finger crossing I asked of you helped.) 
Photo: Centro Televisivo Vaticano
Now, the first thing curious me noticed when seeing Princess Marie was that she was wearing black. This is the first time that the Princess of Liechtenstein attended a Vatican event since Princess Charlène of Monaco stepped out wearing white when meeting the Pope in January last year. After there was a bit of questioning going on, the Vatican's press office issued a statement that "in accordance with prescribed ceremonial of the Vatican for Catholic sovereigns, the princess was allowed to dress in white". 

As explained in the Luxarazzi 101 about the privilège du blanc, the privilege does not come on its own but is a privilege of a Most Catholic Monarch (Most Catholic Majesty) or their spouse. Now, I still find it hard to believe that the Prince of Monaco would be granted such a title while the Prince of Liechtenstein is not. (There hardly is a more Catholic monarch than the Prince of Liechtenstein who has used his very real power in the past to veto laws which went against his (Catholic) conscience.) As demonstrated by Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte in the past, having the privilège du blanc doesn't mean that you have to wear white but, for me at least, questions about the Princess of Monaco indeed having it remain.
Photos: Centro Televisivo Vaticano
Anyway, after the canonisation mass was over, Pope Francis also greeted Prince Hans-Adam II and Princess Marie, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa as well as the other heads of states personally in Saint Peter's Square.

Pictures of the canonisation are to be found all over the internet though finding the ones of your favourite royal can be a bit difficult. (Or just check out our more recent post The Canonisation in Pictures.) Centro Televisivo Vaticano has uploaded the canonisation mass to their Youtube channel if you want to (re-)watch the whole thing. (Or just skip ahead to the 13:49 and 14:50 marks to see the arrival of the Luxembourg and Liechtenstein royals.) Why not discuss the canonisation, the royal guests and the privilège du blanc over at The Royal Resource!?

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