The pope's hat flew off in an icy blast during Wednesday's general audience but he kept on speaking as if nothing had happened.
Benedict XVI had opened the audience by telling the faithful, gathered despite the wintry weather: ''It's cold but at least it isn't raining or snowing and we have to be thankful for that''.
The pope tried to keep hat on his head but a particularly vicious gust wrenched it from his grasp, observers said.
He was seen soon afterwards with replacement headgear the Vatican keeps ready for such accidents.
It was the second time Benedict has lost his hat in St Peter's.
In May 2006 the wind blew his hat off as he rode the Popemobile through the crowds.
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