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Québec authorities individually invited to public ceremonies of the Government of Québec

Precedence is a way to rank institutions, the persons who lead them or who represent them on public occasions, participants in a ceremony, a lunch or dinner, etc. This ranking, in some cases institutionalized, reflects the consideration or the rank that a society assigns to its institutions.

Precedence is not in itself a statement of the importance of each person, but serves essentially as a tool for placing institutions and persons to ensure that the public occasions in which they participate, and in particular, ceremonies of state, proceed appropriately.

Once it has been established for a ceremony or an event, precedence, when used with the necessary flexibility, facilitates the introduction of dignitaries in the opening of a speech, the placement of guests in a room, at a table, or in a meeting hall, etc., to schedule a series of speakers, etc. Precedence also determines the placement of flags.

Governments and many other large organizations adopt and publish orders of precedence, which applies at events or ceremonies for which they bear responsibility. Since each of these precedences is their own, they are not necessarily compatible.