By VIRGINIA WHEELER
WIDE-eyed Malawian orphan Mercy James gazes at the hustle and bustle of London yesterday — just 48 hours after arriving in Britain as Madonna’s new daughter.
In the first photograph of the four-year-old since she was whisked from her African homeland, she appears transfixed as she is held by her nanny.
New home … Mercy, held by nanny, at door of London pad
Welcome … Mercy James
Photos by Ray Collins
Close pals of MADONNA say the 50-year-old singer will “cocoon” Mercy at her Marylebone townhouse for a week as she adjusts to her new life.
To guarantee a little peace and quiet she has sent her three-year-old adopted Malawian son David Banda and son Rocco, eight, to their director dad GUY RITCHIE’s home.
Mercy is said to have “slept throughout” the 6,000-mile flight on a private jet from Malawian capital Lilongwe to Heathrow on Friday.
Then, as she was reunited with Madge at her luxury London home, she reduced her to tears by saying: “Moni, moni Mummy” — “Hello, hello Mummy” in her native Chichewa tongue.
Her new brothers and sister Lourdes, 12, threw Mercy a short tea party before Madonna, known to pals as Em, took her to a special blessing at a Kabbalah centre.
The family friend said: “Em has been waiting for this moment for years, but realises that she shouldn’t over-stimulate Mercy by immediately smothering her with attention and things to do.
“After all, she has been in this before when she brought David home from Malawi so she understands how confusing it must be.
“The next few days are all about cocooning Mercy from the world and getting her used to being around her new family.
“Em had hoped to have all the children together for the next few days.
“But David couldn’t contain his excitement and was tearing round the house like a runaway horse. He kept shouting, ‘I want to see my sister,” and endlessly hugging and tugging at her.
“In the end it was best to pack him off with Rocco to Guy’s place in Wiltshire. Guy has been here to meet Mercy too.
“Em has a gentle few days planned ahead, with lots of singing and reading to her new daughter.
“Mercy has already fallen in love with the £2,000 rocking horse Em has placed in her bedroom. She can’t take her eyes off it.”
Madonna had originally planned to fly out to Malawi to collect Mercy herself, but experts advised her to stay in London and let the little girl “acclimatise” before jetting on to her New York home.
The Sun revealed back in 2007 that Madonna wanted to adopt Mercy James.
We also told exclusively how the singer would win her controversial adoption appeal — with judges officially giving full custody two weeks ago.