On October 18, 2016, His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, met with Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and Northern Ireland at the Buckingham Palace in London.
The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church was accompanied by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations, and Archbishop Yelisey of Sourozh. Participating in the meeting were also Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury and Bishop Richard Chartres of London.
Patriarch Kirill wished the Queen of Britain ‘many happy returns’ on the occasion of her 90th birthday and presented her with an icon of the Mother of God ‘Swift to Hearken’ executed in Russian jewelry traditions.
On her part, the Queen gave the high guest her portrait as well as a portrait of her husband Duke Philip of Edinburg.
They discussed a wide range of issues. Patriarch Kirill told Her Majesty about the ongoing church renewal in Russia, which is visibly expressed, among other things, in the growing number of parishes, development of religious education and theological science, creation of new dioceses and development of new forms of church service.
The sides also discussed the situation of Christians in Europe today.