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The door has closed on Benedict XVI's time as Pope, as, for the first time in six centuries, the pontiff stepped down.
The now Pope Emeritus delivered his final papal message from the balcony of his temporary home in Castel Gandolfo which was, "Thank you all. Goodnight".
The Twitter updates written by Benedict XVI on the Pontifex account have been deleted.
The Twitter account is now titled "Sede Vacante", the Latin phrase for "the seat being vacant".
The Swiss Guards standing watch outside the papal palace in Castel Gandolfo have closed its doors and marched off, marking the end of Benedict XVI's time as Pope:
Today marked the final day of Benedict XVI as Pope.
Crowds cheered as he gave a final farewell from the balcony of the papal palace in the Italian town of Castel Gandolfo.
Later, he tweeted that he is "now a simple pilgrim, on his final pilgrimage".
Benedict XVI has now ceased his reign as Pope.
The Swiss Guards who stand watch at the pontiff's residence have marched off in a sign the papacy is now vacant.
As Pope Benedict XVI enters his final hours as pontiff, Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson of Ghana remains the bookie's favourite to succeed him.
However, the cardinal's odds have been edged out slightly by Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan after he received "a flood of bets", Ladbrokes said.
The odds for the front runners are as follows:
- Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson - 11/4
- Cardinal Angelo Scola - 3/1
- Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone - 4/1
- Cardinal Marc Ouellet - 7/1
- Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco - 10/1
- Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi 10/1
- Cardinal Peter Erdo - 12/1
In their plumed helmets and striped uniforms, the Swiss Guards are one of the most recognisable symbols of The Vatican.
When they walk off duty from the pontiff's summer retreat, it will be one of the few visible signs that Benedict XVI is no longer Pope.
"We appreciate about this Pope that he was very humble," Swiss Guard Corporal Urs Breitenmoser told the Associated Press. "He talks to the people, he took his time to talk with everybody and he had always a great memory".
At 7pm tonight, the doors of the residence at Castel Gandolfo will close and the Swiss Guards will leave.
"We are coming back to The Vatican, and we continue to survey the entrances of Vatican City and the Pope's palace, even if he's not there and then we are waiting for the arrival of the Cardinals," Breitenmoser added.