Princess Maxima of the Netherlands led the contingent of European royals who watched Pope Francis“s inaugural mass in Rome.
The Argentinean-born royal, who looked radiant as she chatted with Letizia of Spain, watched with particular interest as countryman Jorge Mario Bergoglio gave his first sermon in St Peter”s Square.
Vatican protocol dictates that papal audiences wear black, and Maxima and her fellow female royals looked striking in demure outfits and distinctive lace veils, known as mantillas.
Holland”s future Queen was clearly delighted to watch an Argentinean secure his place as the head of the Roman Catholic Church.
The princess and husband Willem-Alexander took their places next to Letizia and Felipe of Spain during the open air mass.
Other European royal houses were represented by Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg, Prince Felix of Luxembourg and King Albert II and Queen Paola of Belgium.
The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester were due to represent the UK at the celebration, which marked the beginning of the Petrine Ministry of the newly-elected pope.