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Britain's Queen, meeting pope, gives him eggs, whiskey, beer

Queen Meets Pope, Gives Him Eggs, Whiskey, Beer

BY PHILIP PULLELLA

(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 donate it.

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.

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".

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DIEGOMANHATTAN April 03 2014 at 11:10 PM

AND THE ROYAL OLD GIRL KEEPS ON WORKING,;ONE THING IS FOR SURE , ALL THESE YEARS SHE HAS MORE THAN EARNED HE KEEP1

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cpruitt221 April 03 2014 at 9:27 PM

I think it was a conscious effort on her part to respect his obvious problem with most material wealth in a world where people continue to live in poverty unto death. Maybe every nation should consider this kind of gift for the wealthy leaders we visit.

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eechaney April 03 2014 at 9:52 PM

If you have been in the Vatican, you know that there are enough "things". These "consumables are great gifts. Too bad that the lapis lazuli didn't have something of St. George instead of St. Edward topping it.

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NJLAGHOF April 03 2014 at 9:23 PM

Well, as a 'devote' Irishman, I find this really sweet, that the Queen of UK would meet w/ the Pope following the centuries of discontent between the two institutions. Feel the Pope is a real blessing (no pun intended) and do understand the Queen's history. Afterall, back then the Pope would have made sure things happened and she would not be a queen as the lineage, per another pope's ideas, would have been changed via Henry VIII marriages. Also, due to that issue, Ireland had to be kept down to be sure Spain did not overrun the UK. Besides, if the Reformation in englnad NOT happened, the continent of the US would have only been another portion of the Spanish Empire. Thus, am glad they have connected. Sure hope things bget better and better as time passes.

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1 reply
wlh1923 NJLAGHOF April 03 2014 at 10:50 PM

"Devote"? Is that what happens to convicted Irish felons who can no longer vote. Or did you mean devout?

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blondieroberts06 April 03 2014 at 11:43 PM

Food was a great idea.. everyone has to eat no matter how frugal you are.

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gbyron60 April 03 2014 at 10:54 PM

Very considerate and wise gifts on both parts. The Queen has always been great, and I hope to be as spry as Philip if and when I reach that age. In a world of troubles, its nice to see civilized people exchanging good will offerings.

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wlh1923 April 03 2014 at 10:48 PM

From the woman who has everything trying to find a gift for the guy who wants nothing there is quite a challenge.

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1 reply
hahudz wlh1923 April 03 2014 at 11:46 PM

and by golly, she found a way to do it !

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ilenedan2 April 03 2014 at 10:54 PM

The gifts I treasure most are those that others make for me or that are more personal in some way, I find. I think the Queen's gifts were lovely comfort items, very thoughtful. It's not like the Pope needs or desires yet another knick-knack.

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1 reply
hahudz ilenedan2 April 03 2014 at 11:44 PM

And I love that she was not afraid to gift him whisky or beer. Whether or not he is even able to sample it, it is delightful that she had the chutzpa to do it. l

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2 replies
Go RU ! hahudz April 04 2014 at 9:12 AM

I'm sure she checked on what was appropriate to give to him. She would never allow any impropriety.

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mielkele hahudz April 04 2014 at 12:58 PM

Why would you think he might not able to sample it? You don't know many priests!

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gg77bay April 03 2014 at 11:48 PM

say the pope like to cook cakes..ok the eggs will work!!

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afhjohnson April 03 2014 at 9:56 PM

I thought it was a very nice present - giving him things he can actually use - I hope he and all the guys in the Vatican apartment building enjoy an evening sipping good Scotch. Certainly beats a book he doesn't have time to read or yet another picture he doesn't have a place to hang. The pope has said he wants to have a garden planted at the summer place and let others use it. Giving a collection of seeds in a box connected to wood from the original cathedral in Baltimore is a gift that has some meaning to his life and also reflects a certain simplicity of life.

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