Macron invites the great and good to savour pomp of inauguration ceremony

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Former presidents, military, health and trade union chiefs as well as athletes and academics will feature among the 450 guests at the inauguration of Emmanuel Macron as president of France on Saturday morning at the Elysée Palace.

"It will be a sober ceremony," said an Elysée spokesperson on Tuesday, when the inauguration was announced.

Macron, unlike predecessors François Mitterrand and Jacques Chirac, will skip a triumphal march up the Champs-Élysées in favour of the intimate settings of the Elysée Palace.

But there will be a 21-gun salute from Les Invalides.

"It will be a short ceremony and should last up to an hour and a half," said an Elysée spokesperson on Friday.

In front of former French leaders Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande, the inauguration will begin with the declaration of the second round results.

Macron will be recognised as Grand Master of the Legion of Honour and presented with the order's gold necklace on a cushion. The president will then deliver his investiture speech.

The 44-year-old's address is expected to touch on the plethora of challenges facing him in his second and final term as leader of France.

Approach

The former investment banker has constantly been attacked for seemingly prioritising the interests of the well-off.

Macron and his nearest challenger, Marine Le Pen, were both dogged by criticism that their agendas failed to embrace serious environmental issues such as climate change.

During rallies to celebrate workers on 1 May, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the leader of the hard-left France Unbowed party, urged electors to use June's parliamentary elections to vote in candidates who could stop Macron from carrying out his policies.

Mélenchon, who says he wants to be prime minister, has cut a deal with the Green parties and the once powerful Socialist party with the aim of creating a bloc to thwart Macron.

Macron has tried to upstage the deal by changing the name of his Republic on the Move (LREM) party to Renaissance.

"We've renamed the party in order to be able to continue to enlarge and recreate this political movement and give it a new form," said LREM chief Stanislas Guérini.

More inclusive

Whether the revamp convinces the voters will be evaluated next month during the elections for the National Assembly.

Le Pen's National Rally (RN) party has promoted the poll as the third round of the presidentials.

Jordan Bardella, the RN's interim president, said during a wreath laying ceremony on 1 May: “"There is a third round – the legislative elections. It would be unbelievable to leave full power to Emmanuel Macron. The voting isn’t over.”

Macron has said since his re-election that he intends to be more inclusive during his second and final term.

"The president was keen that people who have marked the last five years and those who will feature prominently in the next five years should be present at the ceremony," said an Elysée spokesperson.

It will conclude with a rendition of the French national anthem in front of the French flag in the Elysée Gardens – "a way of honouring the French people," he added.

The miltiary will also be honoured during the finale in the Elysée Gardens. Nearly 200 troops will be reviewed as the guns roar in the distance at Les Invalides.

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