The Privilège du Blanc is the honour of wearing a white dress and matching mantilla in the presence of the Pope. This honour is only accorded to certain Catholic monarchs. Normally women are required to wear a long black dress with a high collar and long sleeves, with a black mantilla during an audience with the Pope.
The privilege is only retained at the discretion of the Pope. She must remain a Catholic in good public standing. She may choose to exercise the privilege freely and she is not required to wear white.
Currently, the following women are eligible for the privilege:
- HM Queen Sofía of Spain
- HM Queen Paola of the Belgians
- HRH The Grand Duchess of Luxembourg
- HSH The Princess of Monaco
- HM The Queen of the Belgians
- HM The Queen of Spain
- HRH The Princess of Naples
While Queen Maxima of the Netherlands is a Catholic, she is not accorded the privilege because she is married to a non-Catholic.
Queen Elizabeth II wearing black, according to the protocol