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Thursday
Apr032014

Pope Francis Gives Queen Elizabeth Present for Prince George

STEFANO RELLANDINI/AFP/Getty Images(VATICAN CITY) -- Pope Francis gave Queen Elizabeth a present for the future king, Prince George, in a brief and informal 30 minute audience at the Vatican Thursday.

The queen and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, were on the ground in Italy for less than five hours before returning to the United Kingdom on a private jet.

It was the first time Queen Elizabeth met Pope Francis, and she took with her on the plane home a gift for the royal grandson. Pope Francis handed the queen a precious stone globe with a cross on it for Prince George, who is about to depart on his first overseas trip to Australia and New Zealand.

The queen was given an antique parchment, which dates back to May 1679 with an “Urbi et Orbi” message by Cardinal Cesare Facchinetti. The pope traditionally gives a "urbi et orbi" message -- meaning "to the city and the world" -- at Easter and Christmas.

The queen gave the pope a hamper of what the Vatican said was "jams and drinks" produced on lands owned by the royal family. One of the drinks was a bottle of whiskey.

This is the fifth time Queen Elizabeth II has met a pope in Rome, but this was her most informal visit ever. She wore no black veil, instead a lilac outfit and matching hat.

By mutual request the meeting was relaxed and "protocol-light," taking place in the pope’s study inside the 1970’s built Paul VI Hall, close to where he lives at the Vatican.

The only people present for the meeting were Pope Francis, Queen Elizabeth, the Duke of Edinburgh and a translator. The pope speaks only “passing English” and is understood to have communicated via a translator.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio