THE 400 year old Papal record of King Henry VW's divorce from Catherine of Aragon will be examined by Queen Elizabeth this afternoon in the Borgia apartments, a few hours after her meeting with Pope John XXIII at 11.15 this morning.
At her own request, Her Majesty will spend a couple of hours examining an exhibition, specially prepared for her, of the Vatican's British records.
These will include correspondence between Pope Clement VII and Cardinal Wolsey, between the Holy See and King George IV regarding Bonnie Prince Charlie, and Henry VIll's thesis attacking Martin Luther which won for the British crown the papal title Defender of the Faith.
At this morning's meeting between the Pope, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, French will be used, and the ceremonial will be in the form customary for nonCatholic heads of state.
The Royal couple will he accompanied by the Marquess of Landsdowne and by
Sir Peter Scarlett, the British Minister to the Holy See. For the first time, it is understood that press photographers will be allowed into the Papal Throne Room to record the historic meeting.
This will not be the first time that the Queen has visited the Vatican. As Princess Elizabeth, she met Pope Pius XII len years ago. After the Papal audience, Cardinal Tardini, Vatican Secretary of State, will pay a return visit to the Queen at Sir Peter Scarlett's residence, where Her Majesty will give a reception for ecclesiastical dignitaries, including 25 Cardinals.
BBC-TV will cover the arrival of the Royal party at the Vatican and afterwards viewers will be shown some of the treasures of the Vatican's Library and Museum.