Pope Benedict will keep the honorific title of "His Holiness" after he abdicates and will be known as "pope emeritus," the Vatican has said.

He will wear a "simple white cassock" and his ring of office as Pope will be destroyed according to Vatican tradition, a spokesman told a briefing.

Benedict will become the first Pope in around six centuries to resign instead of ruling for life.

Given the rarity of the occasion, Vatican officials had been holding discussions about what he will be called and how he will dress.

He will also no longer wear his trademark red shoes once he steps down.

The Vatican confirmed earlier this month that Pope Benedict XVI would resign at 7pm Irish time on 28 February for health reasons.

The 85-year-old said he is stepping down because he does not have the strength to continue in office due to his advanced age.