Privilege du blanc

Privilège du blanc ("privilege of the white") is a French term used to designate a tradition whereby certain Catholic queens and princesses are allowed to wear white in an audience with the Pope.[1] The Italian term is privilegio del bianco.

History

Vatican protocol for papal audiences formerly required that women wear a long black dress with a high collar and long sleeves, and a black mantilla.[2][3]

Certain Catholic queens and princesses have traditionally been exempted from wearing black. The Queens of Italy, Belgium, and Spain, the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, and the princesses of the House of Savoy have been permitted to wear a white dress and white mantilla for a papal audience.

The privilege is not accorded to the wives of all Catholic monarchs. It is not accorded to the wife of the King of Lesotho or the wife of the Prince of Liechtenstein, nor (until 2013) to the wife of the Prince of Monaco. It is also not accorded to Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, who remained a Catholic after becoming Queen of the Netherlands.

Eligibility

As of 2013, Queen Sofia of Spain, Queen Mathilde of Belgium, Queen Paola of Belgium, Queen Fabiola of Belgium, and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg were eligible for the privilège du blanc. They do not use it for every meeting with the Pope, but usually for the more important occasions they attend at the Vatican.

Marina, Princess of Naples, wife of the Head of the House of Savoy, used the privilege in 2003.[4]

On 12 January 2013 Princess Charlene of Monaco wore white when she had an audience with Pope Benedict XVI. The Vatican's press office issued a statement that "in accordance with prescribed ceremonial of the Vatican for Catholic sovereigns, the princess was allowed to dress in white." Princess Charlene did not wear white for the inaugural mass of Pope Francis.

Occasions used

Among the occasions when the privilège du blanc has been used are the following:

Date Queen/Princess Pope Notes
2013 March 19 Queen Paola of Belgium Francis Inaugural mass of Pope Francis [5]
2013 March 19 Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg Francis Inaugural mass of Pope Francis [6]
2013 January 12 Princess Charlene of Monaco Benedict XVI Private audience [7]
2011 May 11 Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg Benedict XVI Beatification of Pope John Paul II [8]
2011 May 11 Queen Paola of Belgium Benedict XVI Beatification of Pope John Paul II [9]
2009 October 10 Queen Paola of Belgium Benedict XVI Private audience [10][11][12]
2006 May 8 Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg Benedict XVI Private audience [11][12]
2005 April 24 Queen Sofia of Spain Benedict XVI Inaugural mass of Pope Benedict XVI [11][12]
2005 April 24 Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg Benedict XVI Inaugural mass of Pope Benedict XVI [11][12]
2004 October 3 Queen Fabiola of Belgium John Paul II Beatification of Charles I of Austria [13]
2003 May 18 Marina, Princess of Naples John Paul II Birthday of Pope John Paul II [4][14]
2003 March 23 Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg [15] John Paul II Private audience [16]
1998 May 15 Queen Paola of Belgium John Paul II Private audience [11]
1981 Queen Sofia of Spain John Paul II Private audience [12]
1978 October 22 Grand Duchess Josephine Charlotte of Luxembourg John Paul II Inaugural mass of Pope John Paul II [12]
1978 October 22 Queen Sofia of Spain John Paul II Inaugural mass of Pope John Paul II [12]
1978 September 3 Queen Fabiola of Belgium John Paul I Inaugural mass of Pope John Paul I [12]
1978 September 3 Queen Sofia of Spain John Paul I Inaugural mass of Pope John Paul I [12]
1977 Queen Sofia of Spain Paul VI Private audience [12]
1965 May Grand Duchess Josephine Charlotte of Luxembourg Paul VI Private audience [17]
1961 June 8 Queen Fabiola of Belgium John XXIII Private audience [12][18]
1939 January 23 Princess Maria of Savoy Pius XI Private audience after wedding
1930 January 8 Marie José, Princess of Piedmont Pius XI Private audience after wedding
1929 December 28 Queen Elena of Italy Pius XI Reception at Palazzo Quirinale [19]
1929 December 7 Princess Giovanna of Savoy Pius XI Private audience [20]
1929 December 7 Princess Maria of Savoy Pius XI Private audience [20]
1929 December 5 Queen Elena of Italy Pius XI Private audience [12][21]
1923 November 19 Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain Pius XI Private audience [22][23]

Colors worn by other women

Many women, including national leaders and wives of national leaders, no longer wear the traditional long black dress during a papal audience. Some women even wear white.

Cherie Blair, wife of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair, sparked controversy when she wore white to meet Pope Benedict XVI in 2006.[24][25] Neither of the two female presidents of the Republic of Ireland, Mary Robinson and Mary McAleese, dressed in black for audiences with Pope John Paul II: Robinson wore dark green, while McAleese wore black and white. Raisa Gorbachyova, the wife of (non-Catholic) Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, wore red for an audience with Pope John Paul II. On 29 August 2013, Queen Rania of Jordan, the Muslim queen consort of King Abdullah II, at an audience with Pope Francis, wore a white veil but a black dress.

References

de:Privilège du blanc
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.