Emmanuel Macron becomes France’s youngest ever president on Sunday, taking over from Socialist Francois Hollande in a solemn ceremony.
Macron, a 39-year-old centrist, arrived at the Elysee Palace in central Paris in a motorcade and walked down the red carpet under light rain to be greeted by Hollande for his inauguration.
The new president’s wife Brigitte, a 64-year-old who was his high school drama teacher, arrived separately for the ceremony wearing a light blue Louis Vuitton outfit.
Macron, 39, who is a former investment banker and economy minister, won the presidential election with 66 percent of the votes on May 7.
Macron officially became president after Laurent Fabius, who is chairman of the constitutional council, read out the results of the presidential election in the Sunday ceremony.
To win the post, Macron defeated ten other candidates, far-right contender Marine Le Pen being the last one.
In his inauguration speech, Macron vowed to support French people and businesses.
“France has the potential to play a leading role in the global stage,” the new president said. He said France had to overcome divisions in the society to activate those potentials.
Macron also said that, on his first official foreign visit as French president, he planned to travel to neighboring Germany.
Germany and France are the European Union’s two heavyweights, who aim to jointly set the tone on policy in the EU.
“Europe needs to be re-founded… EU will be reformed and re-launched,” Macron said.
Prior to the inauguration, Macron took part in a private one-on-one meeting with outgoing Socialist President Francois Hollande.
In the meeting, Hollande briefed his successor, who had served as his economy minister for two years, and handed over to him the secret codes to launch France’s nuclear missiles.
Macron is France’s youngest president ever and the first to be born after October 5, 1958, when President Charles de Gaulle set up the Fifth Republic from the ashes of the Fourth Republic, replacing a factional parliamentary government with a centralized one.