Watch: Pope Benedict XVI lying in state at the Vatican begins

The body of former Pope Benedict XVI is lying in state in St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican for mourners to pay their respects.

The doors of St Peter's Basilica opened for viewing by the public at just after 9am local time.

Public viewing lasts for 10 hours on Monday in St Peter's Basilica. Security officials expect at least 25,000 people to pass by the body on the first day of viewing.

Twelve hours of viewing are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday before Thursday morning's funeral, which will be led by Pope Francis, at St Peter's Square.

It will be the first time a current pontiff has officiated at the funeral of a former one.