Page last updated at 09:57 GMT, Thursday, 28 May 2009 10:57 UK

Thatcher meets the Pope in Rome

Bope Benedict meets Baroness Thatcher

Ex-UK Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher has met Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican after the pontiff's weekly general audience.

The two enjoyed a brief conversation for about a minute following the audience in St Peter's Square.

Baroness Thatcher, brought up as a Methodist, wore a black head-scarf.

Vatican officials said that the occasion was not a private audience, but a mark of the Pope's respect for Baroness Thatcher.

According to newspaper reports she was accompanied by Paul Johnson, the Catholic writer and historian.

Gordon Brown, the current UK prime minister, had a private audience with Pope Benedict in February and has invited the pontiff to visit the UK.

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