Former Pope Benedict made a surprise appearance at St Peter's Basilica yesterday to attend a ceremony at which his successor, Pope Francis, left, was elevating 19 prelates to the high rank of cardinal.

Benedict, 86, who resigned a year ago, sat in the front row along with other cardinals. It was the first time he has attended a papal ceremony since his resignation.

Even though the crowd inside the basilica had been asked to refrain from applause, they clapped when Benedict walked in. He is the first pope to resign in 600 years.

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