Sunday 21 December 2014

Pope gives queen gift for George

Nick Squires in Rome

Published 04/04/2014 | 02:30

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II talks with Pope Francis at the Vatican, Thursday, April 3, 2014. Queen Elizabeth II has come to Rome for lunch with Italy's president Giorgio Napolitano  ahead of the British monarch's first meeting with Pope Francis. Before Francis, Elizabeth had met with four pontiffs, starting with Pope Pius XII in 1951, a year before her accession to the throne. (AP Photo/Stefano Rellandini, Pool)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II talks with Pope Francis at the Vatican

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip met Pope Francis for the first time during a five-hour visit to Rome, receiving a gift for Prince George from the Pontiff.

Francis gave her a blue orb decorated with a silver cross for her eight-month-old great grandson. "It's for the little boy," the Pope said in his native Spanish, as he pointed to the orb – a traditional emblem of the power of Christian monarchs.

"That's very nice, he will be thrilled," said the queen.

Then, perhaps realising that a heavy sphere topped by a cross with four sharp points was not entirely suitable for a baby, she added: "When he's a little older."

In return, the queen and the Duke of Edinburgh gave Pope Francis a hamper of food and drink. As the duke held up a bottle of malt whisky, the queen said: "It's from Balmoral, up in Scotland," to which the Pope looked slightly taken aback before smiling. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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