A Liverpool-born priest is to represent the Pope at the funeral of the Queen, the Vatican has said.
Senior Vatican official Archbishop Paul Gallagher is flying from Rome to attend the Westminster Abbey service on Monday.
The late Queen had a personal audience with Pope Francis in a trip to the Italian capital in April 2014.
Archbishop Gallagher, 68, is the Vatican's secretary for relations with states and international organisations.
Educated at St Francis Xavier School, Woolton, the archbishop was ordained priest in 1977 and joined the Vatican diplomatic corps seven years later.
He has served the Holy See in Tanzania, Uruguay, the Philippines and Burundi - where his residence was bombed in 2008 - as well as Australia.
Early this year the pope sent him on a fact-finding mission to Ukraine.
The Queen met five popes as monarch - John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI - greeting the latter two on their visits to the UK.
As a princess she also met Pope Pius XII.