Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Now, She Can Wear White....

Yesterday, Benedict XVI received Grand-Duke Henri and Grand-Duchess Maria Theresa of Luxembourg. As you can see, they were all trying to out-bling each other.

As the wife of a Catholic sovereign, the grand-duchess is entitled to the privilege du blanc -- that is, wearing white in the presence of the Pope as opposed to the customary black for women. (And knowing this is, of course, oh so important for your salvation.)

Last week, when Cherie Booth, QC -- the wife of Tony Blair the British Prime Minister -- was received by the Pope, she, too, was wearing white. And, predictably, the Conservative MP (and convert) Ann Widdecombe foamed at the mouth about it.

However, I'm told that Booth was speaking at the conference of the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences -- the reason she was in Rome to begin with -- when the surprise call came through that Benedict wanted to see her.

There was no time to change... and the example of the Pope's kindness and courtesy to his guest was, unsurprisingly, not heeded outside the Apartment.

AP/Alessandro Bianchi