The Grand Master of Ceremonies of France or Grand maître des cérémonies de France was one of the Great Officers of the Maison du Roi ("King's Household") during the Ancien Régime and Bourbon Restoration. His function was to organize all public ceremonies of the crown.
The position was created by Henri III on January 1 1585, to relieve the Grand Master of France of part of his workload. The Grand Master of Ceremonies took his oath of office at the hands of the Grand Master of France.
The Grand Master of Ceremonies oversaw state ceremonies and not court etiquette or private functions. He played a role in ceremonies cerebrating or commemorating births, baptisms, marriages, and funerals for members of the royal family, royal feasts, ambassadorial receptions, the coronation, royal entries into towns, lits de justice, meetings of the States General and important assemblies.
The duties of The Grand Master of Ceremonies were principally :
In the exercise of his functions, he was assisted by a "master of ceremonies" and an aide.
The Grand Master of Ceremonies carried a baton covered in black velvet, with an ivory tip.
The position was eliminated in 1792, but was reinstated during the Bourbon Restoration.