Princess Charlene charms Pope Francis as Monaco royals make Vatican visit

2016-01-19 13:04

Vatican City — Princess Charlene charmed Pope Francis during a private call on the pontiff at the Vatican alongside her husband, Prince Albert II of Monaco.

Francis was smiling as Charlene knelt before him, grasped the pope's right hand and kissed it on Monday.

Both the princess and the pope were in white. Charlene wore a simple, elegantly tailored off-white coat, white gloves and beige high-heeled pumps, while Francis wore his usual gown.

The couple didn't bring their 13-month old twins, Gabriella and Jacques, but Francis said: "I will pray especially for your children."

The prince, who has a farm, presented the pontiff with a basket of fruit and vegetables and a basket of cheese. He also gave Francis a copy of a special edition, printed in the tiny Mediterranean principality, of the papal encyclical, which stresses people's duty to save the Earth's environment.

"You know it," Albert, said, jokingly The pope quipped back: "I think I've read it.'"

Albert has created a foundation to protect the environment and encourage sustainable development.

The Vatican's description of the royals' visit said that conversation covered matters of "common interest," including the environment, humanitarian aid and human development.

Francis considers care for the environment a moral imperative.

Francis chatted for 20 minutes with the couple on a busy morning that included meetings with a Lutheran delegation from Finland and with the head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde.

(Photos: AP)

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