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How Argentinian 'Pope of the people' is already making his mark at the Vatican

Pope Francis, who appeared on the balcony of St Peter's Basilica on Sunday in his new white robes, is forging a reputation as a 'new sort of pontiff' whose style centres on simplicity and informality.

Graphic showing some of the style differences between the old and the new pope. Pope Francis donned the symbols …

As Pope Francis was inaugurated at St Peter's Square today, it was clear the world is welcoming a pontiff who likes to do things his own way.

The Jesuit Pope, who appeared on the balcony of St Peter's Basilica on Sunday in his new white robes, is forging a reputation as a 'new sort of pontiff' whose style centres on simplicity and informality.

Pope Francis has already refused the armour-plated papal Mercedes-Benz limousine (instead travelling in a minibus with other cardinals), and insists on a much more scaled-down security presence than his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI.

This morning Pope Francis shook hands with members of the crowd, kissed a baby and an ill man, and generally appeared as a 'Pope of the people' during a walkabout from his Popemobile - a converted Jeep which was left open to the elements.

Pope Francis's general appearance is also much changed from his predecessor.

Pope Francis waves to the crowd from the central balcony of St Peter's Basilica last week (PA)

Pope Francis kisses a child in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican this morning (PA)

As the graphic above shows, the new pontiff wears white robes with black trousers and black shoes, rather than the completely white ensemble of Pope Benedict.

Pope Francis also has a simpler crucifix made from iron (rather than Benedict's gold), and a plated silver ring.

The signs of a less formal papacy were evident from the moment Pope Francis was announced as the new pontiff.

He kept security to a minimum on a recent trip into the centre of Rome, and on the way back to the Vatican settled a bill at a hotel for clergy in the city, where he had been staying until the conclave started on Monday.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi - who Pope Francis met personally in another unprecedented move - said: "He will do his own thing in his own time and at his own speed."

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