Even with the glamour of Julie Snyder sitting among the guests, and the excitement of having a multi-millionaire swear-in as an MNA, there was a tinge of disappointment among the Parti Quebecois' politicians.
The whittled-down team of 27 - three were absent and will swear in at a later date - took their oaths in what is often a celebratory ceremony before family and friends.
"I'm also a little bit sad, thinking about all of these colleagues that we've lost along the way and the fact that we're going to be the opposition now and not the government, so it's kind of a mixed feeling," said Bernard Drainville moments before he took his oath, on his last day before officially losing his position as minister. The Liberal cabinet will be sworn in tomorrow.
The Canadian flag had been temporarily removed from the upper chamber for the ceremony, since this is an event for the political party (with the Liberal majority, the flag will stay put during the regular work of the National Assembly.)
But, the PQ members still made mostly unenthusiastic pledges to serve the Queen, and then made a second pledge, spoken louder and with greater conviction, to serve the people of Quebec and obey its laws.
The party only managed to elect three new faces. Among them, Pierre Karl Peladeau drew a roar of applause and a standing ovation from friendly spectators.
The party's interim leader, Stéphane Bédard, told his trimmed-down team to be proud of belonging to the great party that is the Parti Quebecois, and savour the moment of being elected.
He says the PQ can also be proud of what it achieved in government. "We can say it between ourselves now: This 18-month old government was not beaten because of its record," he said.
Instead, his party's defeat was based on "one word," Bédard later explained to reporters. Only after being pressed did he reveal what that word was - "referendum."
Elaine Zakaïb, Jean-François Lisée, and Lorraine Richard will swear in some time later. Also absent was Pauline Marois. Bédard said she would have liked to come, but is elsewhere. "She has good reasons that she explained to me."