The ceremony of induction into the Legion of Honor or the National Order of Merit is a solemn moment. It follows a ritual that recipients need to know in order to be prepared well for this event that is generally unique in a lifetime.
The highly symbolic induction ceremony is both:
- a ceremony that marks official entry into the Order and ongoing membership
- a private, festive gathering in the presence of the recipient’s friends and relatives.
There is no legal deadline to organize this ceremony, but it is recommended that the decoration occur in the year following the date of nomination or promotion.
Military decorations are presented at parades under arms in accordance with specific procedures.
For foreigners, the induction ceremony is not mandatory.
The six steps to your induction:
1. Choosing your delegate
- You need to designate a delegate, that is, the person who will present you with your insignia, either:
- a member of the Legion of Honor holding a rank at least equal to yours.
- a member of the government or an ambassador of France if you live abroad.
- You contact the selected person.
- You inform the administration of the Grand Chancery of the name of the person, who will be granted the power to represent the Grand Chancellor at the ceremony.
2. Setting the date and location of your ceremony
Once you have received the requisite documents from the Grand Chancery, you can set the date for your induction ceremony.
The ceremony can be held at your convenience, in a public or private venue, and must take place in a solemn style in keeping with the prestige of the Order.
3. Buying your decoration
It is incumbent upon you to purchase your own insignia. You may wear it only after the official induction ceremony.
Only the Military Medal may be worn as soon as the notice of award is published in the Official Journal.
The decorations are available for sale to everyone, but wearing insignia without having the right to do so is subject to prosecution.
4. Preparing your speech
The ceremony takes place in three stages:
- Praise of the inductee.
The speech is delivered by the delegate. It is customary to pay tribute to the recipient, to recall his or her career path, values and commitments, and the outstanding merit for which he or she is being decorated.
- Presentation of the insignia
The delegate pronounces the following formula established by the Code and then embraces the honoree:
On behalf of the President of the Republic and by virtue of the powers conferred upon us, we hereby declare you Knight (Officer or Commander) of the Legion of Honor.
On behalf of the President of the Republic and by virtue of the powers conferred upon us, we promote you to the title of Grand Officer (or Grand Cross) of the Legion of Honor.
- The recipient’s response
It is then time for the recipient to express thanks for this prestigious mark of recognition and to all those who have played a role in his or her career.
5. Paying the Chancery fee
You need to pay the Chancery’s fee for issuing your certificate.
For the Legion of Honor, the fees are:
- € 50 for the rank of Knight
- € 75 for the rank of Officer
- € 100 for the rank of Commander
- € 150 for the title of Grand Officer
- € 200 for the title of Grand Cross
For the National Order of Merit, the fees are:
- € 30 for the rank of Knight
- € 50 for the rank of Officer
- € 70 for the rank of Commander
- € 100 for the title of Grand Officer
- € 150 for the title of Grand Cross
6. Receiving your certificate
After the ceremony, you must be sure to send the Grand Chancery the official report sent to the delegate. This document must be signed and dated by both of you so that your date of induction into the Order can be registered.
In return, you will receive your certificate attesting your affiliation with the Order of the Legion of Honor.
If you have questions about the induction process, please contact: