The arrival of a new President of the Republic begins with a solemn inauguration ceremony. The President-elect enters the Palace through the courtyard, flanked on both sides by a detachment of the Republican Guard. The President-elect meets with his/her predecessor, and then the Grand Chancellor of the Legion of Honour presents the President with the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour. The actual inauguration ceremony then takes place in the Salle des Fêtes (ballroom).
It consists of:
- A solemn march played by the Republican Guard Chamber Orchestra when the President-elect enters, accompanied by the Prime Minister, President of the Senate and President of the National Assembly.
- A reading by the President of the Constitutional Council of the proclamation of the election results.
- The signing by the President-elect of the inauguration statement.
- The presentation of the collar of the Grand Master of the Order to the new President of the Republic, by the Grand Chancellor of the Legion of Honour. The President of the Republic is recognized as Grand Master of the Order at the inauguration ceremony, once the Grand Cross has been handed to him/her by the Grand Chancellor, appointed by presidential decree adopted by the Council of Ministers (Article 13 of the Constitution of 4 October 1958) for a period of six years, renewable.
- Address by the new President of the Republic.
- Presentation of prominent guests (members of constitutional bodies, dean of diplomatic corps, personal guests).
At the end of this ceremony, the President of the Republic goes to the terrace of the garden, accompanied by the Prime Minister and the presidents of the two houses of Parliament. Military honours are performed for the President by the Republican Guard. After listening to the Marseillaise, the French national anthem, before the flag, the President reviews the troops.
A 21-gun salute is fired, either after the reading of the proclamation, or during the military honours.