Benedict XVI Bids Farewell to Queen Elizabeth II

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BIRMINGHAM, England, SEPT. 19, 2010 ( Benedict XVI sent a message to Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom as he prepared to leave the territory at the conclusion of his four-day state visit.

Prime Minister David Cameron was present to give a farewell address to the Pope at the Birmingham International Airport, and the Pontiff also gave an address to the people gathered there.

To the queen, he sent a telegram, stating, "As I leave the United Kingdom at the conclusion of my apostolic visit, I renew my deep gratitude to your majesty for the gracious welcome and the many kindnesses which you, your government and the British people extended to me during my stay."

The Holy Father continued, "I ask Almighty God to guide the nation in accordance with his will and to confirm it always in the ways of freedom, justice and peace."

He concluded, "Upon all I cordially invoke the Lord's abundant blessings."