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Spain’s new king and queen invite pope to visit

June 30, 2014

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Spain’s new king and queen met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Monday on their first foreign trip as monarchs, and invited the pontiff to visit Spain.

King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia, wearing white as is standard protocol for a queen visiting the pope, were greeted by Francis in the papal library. They chatted for about 40 minutes in private. As they left, Felipe invited Francis to visit and bent down to kiss the pope’s ring, while Letizia curtsied.

In a statement, the Vatican noted that it was the monarchs’ first foreign visit and said the cordial talks focused on church-state cooperation in Spain and unspecified global conflicts.

Francis had met Felipe’s parents, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, on several occasions, the last time during the April 27 canonizations of Saints John Paul II and John XXIII.

Juan Carlos abdicated earlier this month.

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