Queen Elizabeth meets Pope Francis at the Vatican

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He is 77-years-old. She is a decade older. But both Pope Francis and Britain’s Queen Elizabeth seemed in fine form as they met for the first time, joined by the monarch’s 92-year-old husband Prince Philip.

At the Vatican on her first foreign trip since 2011, the Queen exchanged gifts with the pontiff.

She offered a hamper containing British produce including honey and whiskey. He presented her with a stone orb with a cross on top, for her baby great-grandson Prince George.

And although the visit to the Argentine Pope coincided with the 32nd anniversary of the start of the Falklands conflict, it is unlikely anyone mentioned the war.

Earlier, Queen Elizabeth had lunch with Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano, himself a sprightly 88, at the Quirinale Palace.

This was just a one day visit. But the Queen will cross the Channel again in June, making a state visit to France during which she will mark the 70th anniversary of the World War Two D-Day landings in Normandy.

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