By Shelley Marsden
Queen Elizabeth met Pope Francis for the first time yesterday afternoon during a one-day visit to Rome.
Unlike previous Vatican meetings and breaking with convention, she was not wearing a veil and did not wear black. Instead, she opted for a lilac-coloured spring coat and matching hat.
It was the 87-year-old’s first trip abroad since a trip to Australia in 2011, and during her brief stay the Pontiff gave her a royal orb in lapis lazuli with a silver cross for her grandson, Prince George.
The queen in turn gave Pope Francis a hamper of British produce including whiskey and goods grown in the gardens of royal palaces.
Earlier in the day the queen, accompanied by her husband Prince Philip, attended a lunch hosted by Italian President Giorgio Napolitano.
This is the third time Queen Elizabeth has visited the Vatican. The first was in 1961 when she met Pope John XXIII, and the second in 2000 when she met John Paul II.