Pope Francis gives Queen unusual present to baby George, as she gives him whisky
The unusual, and not very child-friendly, gift was presented to the Queen by Pope Francis at their first meeting at the Vatican this afternoon
What to get the eight-month-old who has everything? A lapis lazuli orb decorated with a silver cross of Edward the Confessor, the 11th Century English King who was made a saint, of course.
The unusual, and not very child-friendly, gift was presented to the Queen by Pope Francis at their first meeting at the Vatican this afternoon.
Pope Francis gave the Queen a present for her great-grandson Prince George as she apologised for a delay in meeting him at the Vatican.
The Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, shook hands with the leader of the Catholic Church and said: "Sorry to keep you waiting, we were having lunch with the president", before heading into a private meeting with the pontiff.
The private conversation between the royal couple and the Pope lasted around 17 minutes and was followed by a formal exchange of gifts.
The Pope presented a lapis lazuli orb to the royal couple, decorated with a silver cross of Edward the Confessor, the 11th Century English King who was made a saint, as a gift for eight-month-old Prince George with the inscription on the base "Pope Francis, to His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge".
Shown the gift, the Queen responded: "He will be thrilled with that" before adding after a split second's pause: "when he's a little older!"
The royal couple were also presented with a reproduction of a decree by Pope Innocent XI issued in 1679 which elevated Edward the Confessor into a saint for the Catholic Church.
A separate gift was presented to the Duke of Edinburgh of three papal medals in gold, silver and bronze.
He joked: "It's the only gold medal I have ever won."
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh presented the Pope with two silver framed signed photographs of the royal couple and a hamper full of produce from the royal estates.
Showing the smiling Pope the photographs, the Queen joked: "I'm afraid it is yet another photograph."
The hamper included honey from Buckingham Palace and Windsor and shortbread and whisky from Balmoral and quince jelly, plum conserve, chutney and cider and apple juice from Sandringham.
The Duke of Edinburgh explained to the Pope that the honey from Buckingham Palace was "from our garden".
The Pope explained, through an interpreter, that the cross of Edward the Confessor was also in the Coronation Crown.
The private audience, in a room known as the Pope's study, took place inside the Pope Paul VI Audience Hall in the Vatican, a modern building used during the winter months for papal audiences.
The hall is next door to the Casa Santa Marta, the guest house in the Vatican where the pope has chosen to live.
The Queen did not wear black, or a mantilla, a lace veil, for the meeting in keeping with the informal nature of the visit.
She was wearing a lilac, green and yellow floral chiffon dress by Stewart Parvin and a matching lilac dress with a matching lilac hat by Rachel Trevor-Morgan and a sapphire brooch with gold detail surrounded by diamonds.
Additional reporting by Press Association
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