Queen, Meeting Pope, Gives Him Eggs, Whiskey, Beer
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[April 04, 2014]
By Philip Pullella
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) — Queen Elizabeth
met Pope Francis for the first time on Thursday and gave a bemused
pontiff culinary delights from the royal estates, including a dozen eggs
and a bottle of whisky.
"I've also brought something from all our estates, which is for
you personally," said the queen, wearing a lavender dress and a
purple hat, as she handed Francis a wicker basket full of food at
the end of a 17-minute private meeting in the Vatican.
The 18 items from Buckingham Palace, Windsor, Sandringham and
Balmoral also included two types of honey, "Coronation Best Bitter,"
"Grandad's chutney" and "Sandringham handmade aromatherapy soaps".
A Vatican official said the pope would likely share the food with
other residents of the guest house where he has lived since his
election after renouncing the spacious papal apartments or would
The Queen and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, met the pope in
a modern room attached to the Vatican's audience hall without much
of the ceremonial pomp that usually accompanies such visits.
A Vatican statement did not say what the two discussed. The Queen is
also the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, which split from
Rome in 1534.
The pope is Argentine and Britain went to war with Argentina over
the Falkland Islands, which Argentina calls the Malvinas, in 1982.
To cut short any speculation that the two might have discussed the
Falklands, the British embassy reminded reporters that while the
pope may be Argentine, the Vatican's official position on the
territorial dispute is a neutral one.
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Francis also gave the queen a gift for her eight-month-old
great-grandson, Prince George of Cambridge. It was a sphere made of
lapis lazuli, a deep blue semi-precious stone, topped with the
silver cross of St. Edward.
"He will be thrilled by it," the queen told the pope. Then she
paused and added: "When he is a little older".
(Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)
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