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450 guests, canonfire: the plan for Macron's presidential investiture

The ceremony will begin at 11:00 at the Elysée Palace and last just an hour and a half

President Macron will have his second investiture ceremony on Saturday, May 7 Pic: 360b / Shutterstock

President Emmanuel Macron has opted for sobriety and simplicity for his second investiture ceremony tomorrow (Saturday, May 7).

Beginning at 11:00, the ceremony, “will be short and should only last between an hour and an hour and a half,” the Elysée has said. 

President Macron will be named grand maître de la Légion d’honneur, and presented with the grand collier golden chain of the Legion by its Grand Chancellor, General Benoît Puga, who will say: “We recognise you as the grand maître.” 

The president will then stand before his 450 guests, including political figures like François Hollande, Nicolas Sarkozy and Édouard Philippe, and make his investiture speech. This should last for around 15 minutes, and will set the tone for the next five years. 

There will be no motorcade up the Champs-Elysées, and no visit to the Hôtel de Ville. Instead, there will be a particular focus on paying homage to members of the Armed Forces. 

After the ceremony, the president will move to the Elysée gardens and stand before the national flag while the ‘Marseillaise’ national anthem is played.

He will then be presented with a military parade involving 160 service personnel, including members of the teams engaged in tackling terrorist threats. 

While this is taking place, a cannon positioned at Invalides will be fired 21 times, to honour a tradition inherited from the days of the Ancien régime, which lasted from the 16th century until the French Revolution. 

“It is a tradition which comes from the beginning of naval artillery deployment,” the Elysée said. “It was customary to discharge cannons when you arrived somewhere to show that you were coming in peace and that you were happy to dock. 

“Seven shots were fired. We believe that the coastal artillery had more powder, because they would fire 21 shots – three times more – in response.”

The May 7 date was chosen deliberately in order to leave Sunday (May 8) free for VE day celebrations. It is also the anniversary of President Macron’s first election in 2017.

On Sunday, President Macron will participate in a VE Day ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe, and on Monday (May 9), he will be in Strasbourg to make a speech for Europe Day. Later that day, he will be in Berlin for a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Guests have been chosen based on their “mark on the last quinquennat (five year term, and those who will be involved in the next will be present.

“There will be representatives from healthcare and youth [communities], mayors, sportspeople, the chiefs of army units whose soldiers have died for France, supporters and friends, as well as representatives from businesses and unions,” the Elysée has said.

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