Tiara of Pope Benedict XVI

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Exterior of the Tiara of Pope Benedict XVI
Interior of the Tiara of Pope Benedict XVI
Presentation of the tiara to Pope Benedict XVI on May 25, 2011

The Tiara of Pope Benedict XVI is a Papal tiara presented to Pope Benedict XVI during a General Audience on May 25, 2011 by a group of German Catholics.[1]

The tiara was produced in Bulgaria by a company that makes Eastern Orthodox liturgical vestments.[1] The tiara is made from a mixture of zinc, silver and brass.[1] It is adorned with semi-precious stones.[1]

Pope Benedict XVI never wore this tiara. The last pope to wear a tiara publicly was Pope Paul VI, who placed his own tiara on the altar of St. Peter's Basilica at the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council in a gesture of humility, and did not wear it for the remainder of his papacy. Despite his leaving explicit instructions that popes should continue to be crowned after his reign, Paul VI's immediate successor, John Paul I, opted for a simpler rite to mark the beginning of his month-long papacy. Successive popes, including Benedict XVI, continued the tradition set by John Paul I, and forewent other ceremonial aspects that would otherwise have included the wearing of a tiara. Therefore, although Benedict personally accepted his namesake tiara, neither it nor the tiara of Pope John Paul II have yet been worn. Pope Francis or any future Pope is free to restore the use of the tiara or any other element of papal ritual at their personal desire, and would also be free to use either the tiara of Pope Benedict XVI, or any of the others that are or may come into existence.