Repond studied the frescoes in the Vatican itself for the inspiration that led to the colors of the Medici (blue, red, yellow) on the Guards medieval, (and what some see as) clown-like outfits. He also introduced the fairly simple beret as the main headgear, although the metal and ostrich feathered helmet (called a morion) are still used for full dress assembly (along with white gloves). The Pierrot-like ruffled collar was morphed into a simplistic white collar. For everyday outfits, they wear a simple purple uniform which still maintains a Renaissance flair.
As you can see, Pope Francis, and all that is contained in Vatican City are well protected... well proven by the 3 hour long lines trying to get into St. Peters Basilica!
So, when visiting the Vatican, take all the photos of the Swiss Guard that you like... just remember, they are not clowns... they are real, workaday soldiers dedicated to their task-- to protect the Pontiff.
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