Britain's Queen Elizabeth II shakes hands with Pope Benedict XVI

41651.jpegBritain's Queen Elizabeth II shook hands with Pope Benedict XVI as he arrived Thursday for a historic four-day visit to Britain.

The queen greeted the pope at her Scottish residence near Edinburgh, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, before sitting down with him for a private meeting. A military marching band played the national anthem God Save the Queen, for which the pope removed his white cap.

Earlier, the pope arrived at the Edinburgh airport in an Alitalia plane. A Union Jack and Vatican City flag were flown out of the cockpit windows after it landed, CNN says.

The papal trip will include a meeting with the prime minister, David Cameron, and a prayer vigil in Hyde Park, culminating in a beatification ceremony for Cardinal John Henry Newman in Birmingham on Sunday.

The pope will visit London on Friday and Saturday, when he will meet schoolchildren and representatives from different faiths and give an address at Westminster Hall, The Guardian reports.


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