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.