When Pope Francis went to kiss this little girl, and probably offer his blessing, he never expected an impressive sleight of hand!
Well that’s exactly what three-year-old Estella Westrick did in front of him—all in good humor, of course.
In her excitement, the tot snatched the pope’s hat right off his head as he leaned in to peck her on the cheek.
The pope was clearly amused by her antics, however, as the girl’s godfather, Mountain Butorac, managed to capture the pontiff's laughter on camera. Just watch!
Took my Goddaughter to meet the pope. She stole his hat! pic.twitter.com/SdSorop3uN— Mountain Butorac (@MountainButorac) March 22, 2017
Butorac, who leads Catholic-related pilgrimages and day to tours in Rome, had been leading Estelle and her family on a tour of the Vatican. But it wasn’t until a security guard spotted the spunky girl and led her to the front of the crowd that the hilarious scene went down.
“She’s a cute kid, and he asked if he could take her, and we said, ‘Sure, take her,’” Butorac told Today. “He handed her over to the pope, the pope gave her a kiss--and she took his hat.”
Burotac admitted that in all his 12 years of work, he’s never encountered such an event.
We had a fun day. pic.twitter.com/AOWxhr8DG0— Mountain Butorac (@MountainButorac) March 22, 2017
Photos captured by the pope’s official photographer indicate that young Estelle had her sights set on the headpiece (which is formally called a zucchetto) for awhile.
“You can see that as they brought her, she was kind of staring at the hat,” he said. “So as the pope was going in to kiss her, she was already eyeballing it and her hand was starting to move up. It was like she went in with a plan.”
The pope and his officials continued chuckling over the incident, as the pope continued to greet other visitors.
Although Estelle’s mom--who had been caring for her sick son back at an apartment--missed all the action, Estelle was sure to fill her in.
“She told me, ‘I met the pope, and he gave me a rosary--and I took his hat!’" Estelle’s mom said. "She was so excited about it.”
Apparently, this isn't the first time Estelle's sassy side has stolen the limelight.
“Normally she doesn’t just grab it," her mom said with a laugh. "I’m sure she was going to ask afterwards.”
There's a pope behind them. pic.twitter.com/7fphCfb3ic— Mountain Butorac (@MountainButorac) March 22, 2017
Although barely surprised by her daughter’s mischief, Estelle’s mother did reveal her shock at how fast the video went viral.
“It was our first day here in Rome with the family and we were just kind of enjoying ourselves," she said. "I thought it was a cute personal family moment. Then all of a sudden, it kind of went crazy and everybody saw and loved it. It’s been amazing.”
Butorac is convinced that his 30-second video is enough to make anyone smile.
"These days, especially in the media, there’s so much toxicity with politics, even in church politics, that it's nice to take a little break from all that and just see a cute kid and the pope laughing," he said.
We totally agree with him there!