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.

'How do you do?' Queen Elizabeth meets Pope Francis for the first time in the Vatican since his election last year. Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, can be seen in the background. – Reuters