Sunday 18 March 2018

Lady in white: Princess Charlene charms Pope

Pope Francis and Princess Charlene
Pope Francis and Princess Charlene

Frances D'Emilio in Rome

Princess Charlene of Monaco has charmed Pope Francis during a private call on the pontiff at the Vatican yesterday alongside her husband, Prince Albert II.

Pope Francis was smiling as Charlene knelt before him, grasped the pope's right hand and kissed it.

Both the princess and the pope were in white. Charlene wore a simple, elegantly tailored off-white coat, white gloves and beige high-heeled pumps, while Pope Francis wore his usual gown.

The couple didn't bring their 13-month old twins, Gabriella and Jacques, but Pope Francis said: "I will pray especially for your children."

The prince, who has a farm, presented the pontiff with a basket of fruit and vegetables and a basket of cheese. He also gave Pope Francis a copy of a special edition, printed in the tiny Mediterranean principality, of the papal encyclical, which stresses people's duty to save the Earth's environment.

"You know it," Albert, said, jokingly. The pope quipped back: "I think I've read it.'"

Prince Albert has created a foundation to protect the environment and encourage sustainable development.

The Vatican's description of the royals' visit said that conversation covered matters of "common interest", including the environment, humanitarian aid and human development.

Pope Francis chatted for 20 minutes with the couple on a busy morning, which included meetings with the head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde.

Irish Independent

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