Vatican City • Queen Elizabeth II bearing a basket of honey, whiskey and other goodies from the royal estates paid a visit to Pope France at the Vatican on Thursday. The pontiff returned the courtesy with a gift for Prince George, Elizabeth's great-grandson.
The Argentine-born pope presented the queen with a stone orb topped with a sharp cross, saying it's for "el ninetto" a term of endearment for little child. Elizabeth said George "will be thrilled by that when he's a little older."
The exchange of gifts capped a meeting that included just under 20 minutes of private talk between Elizabeth, her husband, Prince Philip and Francis with communication facilitated by an interpreter. Francis did say "Welcome" in English when the royal couple arrived, about 20 minutes late for their appointment in a small room off the public audience hall.