Francois Hollande is France’s new president.
The peaceful handover of power in a democracy always makes your heart swell a little bit. It beats a military coup, at any rate.
Let’s go to the photos.
The setting: the courtyard at Elysee Palace.
After the formal handover: Nicholas Sarkozy greets Francois Hollande.
A grip-and-grin for the gathered photographers.
Pleasantries are exchanged. Carla Bruni, the outgoing First Lady, rocks a pantsuit.
Sarkozy returns the favor, shaking hands with incoming First Lady Valerie Trierweiler. She and Hollande are not married — the first time that France has had a First Companion. (Not counting Francois Mitterand’s mistress.)
Time’s up. Hand in hand, Sarkozy and Bruni take their leave.
One last salute from the soldiers…
…a last wave to friends…
…and out into the gathered crowds.
Valerie Trierweiler takes a look back.
And the Francois Hollande administration is underway.
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