Emmanuel Macron has been sworn in as the new president of France.
The handover took place in a formal ceremony at the Elysee Palace in Paris.
Former president Francois Hollande handed over the reins of power to his successor in a ceremony heavy with protocol.
“We are at the dawn of an extraordinary renaissance. We have in our hands all the benefits that have made and will make the 21st century. We will remake and relaunch the Europe we need because it protects us and allows us to demonstrate our values to the world. France’s role in the world is an eminent one. We will assume our responsibilities when it is called for. A timely response to the big crises of our era.”
In his acceptance speech, Macron stressed the need for France and the French to come together.
It was a message of hope and encouragement.
The country has political, social, economic and security challenges to overcome, he said.
The 39-year-old president – France’s youngest ever – promised to start work on Sunday evening.
Central Paris came to a standstill on Sunday for the inauguration.
As well as the traditional handover of power at the Elysee Palace, the seat of the French government, there was be a 21-gun salute at the Esplanade des Invalides near the Eiffel Tower.
1,500 police were mobilised for the inauguration. A large section of Paris was closed to traffic all morning.
A centrist newcomer
In a first for the world’s fifth-largest economy and a founding member of the European Union, the 39-year-old centrist newcome was unknown to the wider public only three years ago.
He does not belong to any traditional political grouping.
The former investment banker will become the youngest postwar French leader and the first to be born after 1958 when President Charles de Gaulle put in place the country’s fifth Republic.
The handover – what happened when
The handover began at around 10am in the 18th century Elysee palace.
A formal meeting included the exchange of nuclear missile launch codes.
Then the former president Francois Hollande left.
Back inside the Elysee, the election result was be read out – the moment that marks the actual assumption of power.
Macron was then presented with what is effectively his chain of office – a heavy gold necklace mounted on a red cushion that makes him Grand Master of the National Order of the Legion d’Honneur.
An inspection of troops behind the palace was followed by the gun salute. The new president left the Elysee through a gate topped by a gilded cockeral – a symbol of France for centuries.
Macron then visited the Arc de Triomphe and the tomb of the unknown soldier beneath it, one of the millions who died in World War One a century ago.
Red carpet rolled out, each centimetre of gravel now being raked by groundsmen outside 365-room Elysée palace before Macron takes power pic.twitter.com/LIJ4F96eep— Angelique Chrisafis (@achrisafis) 14 mai 2017
Inside.Salle des fêtes du Palais de l'Elysée pic.twitter.com/6RlxOY7dDc— LAURENCE HAIM (@lauhaim) 14 mai 2017
REVIVEZ – L'arrivée d'— LCI (@LCI) 14 mai 2017
EmmanuelMacron</a> au Palais de l'Élysée, sa poignée de main avec <a href="https://twitter.com/fhollande">fhollande. Suivez la #PassationDePouvoir sur #LCI pic.twitter.com/KOcnveMBPK
Le Palais de l'Elysée comme vous ne l'avez jamais vu, c'est avec
AFPgraphics</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AFP?src=hash">#AFP</a> <a href="https://t.co/F4h9BmDxfJ">pic.twitter.com/F4h9BmDxfJ</a></p>— Agence France-Presse (afpfr) 14 janvier 2017
EmmanuelMacron</a> :"Dès ce soir je serai au travail. Vive la République, vive la France." <a href="https://t.co/JFfNlFyuI6">pic.twitter.com/JFfNlFyuI6</a></p>— Public Sénat (publicsenat) 14 mai 2017
Sur les Champs-Elysées, Emmanuel Macron est accompagné par la Garde républicaine pic.twitter.com/RGZIf32e0q— franceinfo (@franceinfo) 14 mai 2017