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In the world of personal security work, it’s rare to see bodyguards taking risks with their wardrobe. Black is, well, the new black, whether it’s for a dull suit for members of a presidential detail or a tight-fitting T-shirt for a beefy chaperon whose task is to shield pop stars from the paparazzi. But the guardians of Pope Benedict XVI, spiritual leader to a billion followers, aren’t ones to shun the sartorial spotlight.

Few visitors to the Vatican can resist snapping a picture of the Pontifical Swiss Guards, the volunteer corps that for five…

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