The Queen meets the Pope
RAW VISION: Queen Elizabeth presents Pope Francis with culinary delights from the royal estates, including a dozen eggs and a bottle of whisky.PT1M22S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-362rf 620 349 April 4, 2014
Queen Elizabeth met Pope Francis for the first time on Thursday and gave a bemused pontiff culinary delights from the royal estates, including jam, 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.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II holds flowers as she leaves the Ciampino Airport in Rome April 3, 2014. Photo: GIAMPIERO SPOSITO
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 donate it.
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.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip present gifts to Pope Francis during a meeting at the Vatican April 3, 2014. Photo: STEFANO RELLANDINI
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.
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".