Nicolas Sarkozy has been sworn in as France's new president after a handover ceremony with outgoing leader Jacques Chirac.
Mr Sarkozy's family watched as he was proclaimed France's 23rd president at the Elysee Palace.
Mr Sarkozy, 52, signed handover documents, inheriting the launch codes to France's nuclear arsenal.
Earlier, Mr Sarkozy escorted Mr Chirac as he left the Elysee Palace for the last time, after 12 years in power.
The departure of Mr Chirac, 74, was greeted by a round of applause.
In his inauguration speech, Mr Sarkozy called for unity and openness, deploring any intolerance.
He then reviewed the Republican Guard in the gardens of the Elysee Palace.
He was later driven up the Champs Elysees in an open-top limousine to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier beneath the Arc de Triomphe, before leaving for Berlin.