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On Friday 10th November 2023, His Majesty King Charles III welcomed Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, and Archbishop Miguel Maury Buendía, the Apostolic Nuncio, to the grounds of Windsor Castle for the formal handing over of a Cedar of Lebanon tree.

The tree was a gift to Queen Elizabeth II from Pope Francis. In a letter to Her late Majesty of March 2022, the Holy Father wrote, ‘May this tree, which in the Bible symbolises the flourishing of fortitude, justice and prosperity, be a pledge of abundant divine blessings on your realm.’

The Nuncio conveyed the greetings of the Holy Father to The King, and Cardinal Nichols offered a prayer of blessing. The tree was sprinkled with holy water. His Majesty expressed his appreciation for the gift, and the Cardinal assured The King of the prayers of the Catholic community.

Recalling the visit, the Cardinal said: ‘We waited at the young tree, a Cedar of Lebanon, in a beautiful position, looking across open grassland in Windsor Great Park. Then His Majesty arrived. Greetings were exchanged. The tree was blessed.  It was a wonderful moment remembering, with His Majesty, our beloved Queen Elizabeth II, and reflecting on the warmth of the greeting from Pope Francis.’

Main photo: His Majesty the King and Cardinal Nichols look on as the Nuncio conveys the Pope's greeting (both images courtesy of Buckingham Palace)