Heritage

Yes, the Pope Has a Dress Code That Even Presidents and Royals Must Follow

Black lace is customary when visiting the Vatican, but who gets to wear white lace?
IMAGE Getty
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Suppose you're meeting the Pope. What do you wear? It's a critical question governed by millennia of tradition. While the Vatican has recently loosened its rules about casual clothing, the current First Lady and Ivanka chose to abide by the traditional guidelines. At one time, what you wore depended both on your own faith and on the forum of your visit. For instance, while a black lace veil was considered traditional for most during a visit to the Vatican, Catholic queens wore white lace. As expectations started to waver, some simply chose to veto the veil and sport an all-black outfit. And when meeting the Pope at the White House or the airport—or pretty much any other place in the world—black (or white) has never been necessary. Here is a visual history of all the presidents and royals who have dressed for their visit with the pontif.

Ivanka Trump
At the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City, 2017, wearing a traditional black lace veil

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Melania Trump
Meeting with Pope Francis in customary Vatican apparel


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First Lady and President Trump
Visiting the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican, 2017


Queen Silvia of Sweden
Shaking Pope Francis's hand at the Vatican, 2016


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Princess Charlene of Monaco
The Catholic royal met Pope Francis in Vatican City in 2016


Angelina Jolie
With Pope Francis at the Vatican, 2015


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Barack and Michelle Obama
Waving to the crowd with Pope Francis from the White House, 2015


Michelle & Barack Obama
Meeting a very young Pope during the White House Halloween celebration, 2015


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Princess Madeleine of Sweden
Meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican, 2015


Queen Mathilde of Belgium
Meeting Pope Francis at the Vatican, 2015


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Queen Sofia of Spain
Attending mass at the Vatican, 2014


King Abduhhah II and Queen Rania of Jordan
With Pope Francis at the Vatican, 2013


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Barack & Michelle Obama
With Pope Benedict XVI, 2009


Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
Meeting Pope Benedict XVI, 2009


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Duchess Camilla & Prince Charles
With Pope Benedict XVI, 2009. On the duo's next visit in 2017, Prince Charles gave the Pope a thoughtful gift.


Laura Bush
Accompanying George W. Bush on his visit with Pope Benedict XVI, 2007


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George W. Bush & Laura Bush
With Pope John Paul II at the Vatican, 2004


Bill & Hilary Clinton
With Pope John Paul II at Newark, New Jersey, 1995


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George H. W. Bush and Barbara Bush
With Pope John Paul II at the Vatican, 1991


Ronald & Nancy Reagan
Meeting Pope John Paul II at the Vatican, 1982


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Jimmy Carter & Family
With Pope John Paul II at the White House, 1979


Princess Diana & Prince Charles
With Pope John Paul II at the Vatican, 1985


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Queen Elizabeth
At the Vatican, 1980


Jackie Kennedy
With Pope Paul VI at the Vatican, 1966


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Princess Grace
Meeting the Pope at the Vatican, 1959


This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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