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An audience is a formal meeting that takes place between a head of state and another person at the invitation of the head of state. Often the invitation follows a request for a meeting from the other person. Though sometimes used in republics to describe meetings with presidents, the term is more usually associated with monarchs and popes.
In the past, strict dress codes had to be followed by those granted a papal audience. Men were required to wear a morning coat or white tie and tails, while women when meeting popes were required to wear full length black dresses and mantillas (black veils) unless they were Catholic queens, in which case they could wear white. Formal dress is now normally reserved for diplomatic audiences. In the 1990s, a Roman Catholic priest in Ireland provoked a controversy by claiming that then-President of Ireland Mary Robinson had breached protocol by wearing jewellery and by not wearing black nor a mantilla for an audience with Pope John Paul II. The Vatican subsequently pointed out that the traditional form of dress worn for papal audiences was no longer obligatory.
In the United Kingdom, Audiences with the British monarch are usually listed in the Court Circular, which is published daily by the broadsheet press. The British Prime Minister has a weekly audience with Queen Elizabeth II, usually every Wednesday  during parliamentary time at Buckingham Palace.
In the Kingdom of Denmark, public audiences with the Danish monarch usually take place every second Monday at Christiansborg Palace. An invitation is not required for the public audiences. Private audiences of the Monarch with heads of state, heads of government, parliamentary delegations, leaders of international organisations and military leaders are usually held at the residence palace of the Monarch at Amalienborg Palace.
- "Audiens". kongehuset.dk. Retrieved 2012-06-27.