King Victor Emmanuel III and Queen Elena of Italy hosted King George V and Queen Mary on their State Visit to Italy on this day in 1923, which also included the first British State Visit to the Vatican. This was the first State Visit to Italy since 1903, and the next one was in 1961.
King George V and Queen Mary were received in Rome by King Victor Emmanuel III and Queen Elena of Italy as well as Crown Prince Umberto and the Duke and Princess Hélène, Duchess of Aosta, riding in a carriage through the city before appearing on the Balcony of the Quirinale Palace.
The main purpose of the visit was the King and Queen’s pilgrimage to the Commonwealth War Graves in Italy, officially opening the Magnaboschi, Barenthal, Boscon, Cavaletto and Granezza British War Cemeteries. King George V and Queen Mary also had an official audience with Pope Pius XI, while on a visit to the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican, which was the first meeting of the Pope with the British Monarch in centuries, since the meeting between the Pope and King Edward VII in 1903 was held privately.