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Monarchy of France

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Monarchy of France

Monarchy of France
Former Monarchy
Royal Coat of arms
First monarch Clovis I[dubious ][1]
Last monarch Napoleon III
(as Emperor)
Style See article
Official residence Tuileries Palace (last)
Appointer Hereditary
Monarchy began 428[dubious ]
Monarchy ended 4 September 1870
Current pretender(s) Disputed:
Louis Alphonse
(House of Bourbon)
Henri d'Orléans
(House of Orléans)
Jean-Christophe
(House of Bonaparte)

The kingdom of France existed from 987 (or arguably from 843 as kingdom of the Western Franks) until 1792 (the French Revolution). The Capetian Dynasty, the male-line descendants of Hugh Capet, ruled France continuously from 987 to 1792 and again from 1814 to 1848. The branches of the dynasty which ruled after 1328, however, are generally given the specific branch names of Valois and Bourbon. With the House of Bonaparte and the Bourbon Restoration, additional "Kings of the French" ruled in 19th century France, between 1814 and 1870.

For monarchs of Francia (including the Carolingian Empire and Western Francia), see List of Frankish kings, Merovingians, Carolingians.

In addition to the monarchs listed below, the Kings of England and Great Britain from 1340–60 and 1369–1801 also claimed the title of King of France. For a short time, this had some basis in fact — under the terms of the 1420 Treaty of Troyes, Charles VI had recognized his son-in-law Henry V of England as regent and heir. Henry V predeceased Charles VI and so Henry V's son, Henry VI, succeeded his grandfather Charles VI as King of France. Most of Northern France was under English control until 1435, but by 1453, the English had been expelled from all of France save Calais (and the Channel Islands), and Calais itself fell in 1558. Nevertheless, English and then British monarchs continued to claim the title for themselves until the creation of the United Kingdom in 1801.

The title "King of the Franks" (Latin: Rex Francorum) remained in use until 1190, during the reign of Philip II (but note the use of FRANCORUM REX by Louis XII in 1499, by Francis I in 1515, and by Henry II about 1550[2]). During the brief period when the French Constitution of 1791 was in effect (1791–92) and after the July Revolution in 1830, the style "King of the French" was used instead of "King of France (and Navarre)". It was a constitutional innovation known as popular monarchy which linked the monarch's title to the French people rather than to the possession of the territory of France.

In addition to the Kingdom of France, there were also two French Empires, the first from 1804–15, founded and ruled by Napoleon I, and the second from 1852–70, founded and ruled by his nephew Napoleon III.

Merovingian Dynasty (428–751)

The name of France comes from the Germanic tribe known as the Franks. The Merovingian kings began as mere chieftains, the oldest known being Merovech. Clovis I,grandson of Merovech, was the first of these to rise to true kingship. After his death, his kingdom was split between his sons into Soissons (Neustria), Paris, Orléans (Burgundy), and Metz (Austrasia). Several Merovingian monarchs reunited the Frankish kingdoms and assumed the title of "King of the Franks". But upon their deaths, according to Frankish custom, the kingdom would often be split once again between their sons. For a complete list of the various Merovingian kings and the specific territories they controlled, see List of Frankish kings.

Portrait Name King From King Until Relationship with Predecessor(s) Title
Merovech
(Mérovée)
445/448 457  • First king King of the Salian Franks
(Roi des Francs saliens)
Childeric I
(Childéric Ier)
457 481/482  • Son of Merovech King of the Salian Franks
(Roi des Francs saliens)
Clovis I
(Clovis Ier)
481/482 511  • Son of Childeric I King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Childebert I
(Childebert Ier)
511 23 December 558  • Son of Clovis I King of Paris
(Roi de Paris)
Chlothar I the Old
(Clotaire Ier le Vieux)
23 December 558 29 November 561  • Son of Clovis I
 • Younger brother of Childebert I
King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Charibert I
(Caribert Ier)
29 November 561 567  • Son of Chlothar I King of Paris
(Roi de Paris)
Chilperic I
(Chilpéric Ier)
567 584  • Son of Chlothar I
 • Younger brother of Charibert I
King of Paris
(Roi de Paris)

King of Neustria
(Roi de Neustrie)
Chlothar II the Great, the Young
(Clotaire II le Grand, le Jeune)
584 18 October 629  • Son of Chilperic I King of Neustria
(Roi de Neustrie)

King of Paris
(Roi de Paris)
(595–629)

King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
(613–629)
Dagobert I
(Dagobert Ier)
18 October 629 19 January 639  • Son of Chlothar II King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Clovis II the Lazy
(Clovis II le Fainéant)
19 January 639 31 October 657  • Son of Dagobert I King of Neustria and Burgundy
(Roi de Neustrie et de Bourgogne)
Chlothar III
(Clotaire III)
31 October 657 673  • Son of Clovis II King of Neustria and Burgundy
(Roi de Neustrie et de Bourgogne)

King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
(657–663)
Childeric II
(Childéric II)
673 675  • Son of Clovis II
 • Younger brother of Chlothar III
King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Theuderic III
(Thierry III)
675 691  • Son of Clovis II
 • Younger brother of Childeric II
King of Neustria
(Roi de Neustrie)

King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
(687–691)
Clovis IV
(Clovis IV)
691 695  • Son of Theuderic III King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Childebert III the Just
(Childebert III le Juste)
695 23 April 711  • Son of Theuderic III
 • Younger brother of Clovis IV
King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Dagobert III 23 April 711 715  • Son of Childebert III King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Chilperic II
(Chilpéric II)
715 13 February 721  • Probably son of Childeric II King of Neustria and Burgundy
(Roi de Neustrie et de Bourgogne)

King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
(719–721)

The last Merovingian kings, known as the lazy kings (rois fainéants), did not hold any real political power, while the Mayor of the Palace governed instead. When Theuderic IV died in 737, Mayor of the Palace Charles Martel left the throne vacant and continued to rule until his own death in 741. His sons Pepin and Carloman briefly restored the Merovingian dynasty by raising Childeric III to the throne in 743. In 751, Pepin deposed Childerich and acceded to the throne.

Portrait Name King From King Until Relationship with Predecessor(s) Title
Childeric III
(Childéric III)
743 November 751  • Son of Chilperic II or of Theuderic IV King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)

Carolingian Dynasty (751–987)

Three non-Carolingian kings reigned during the Carolingian period of the French monarchy. Two, Odo and his brother Robert I were Robertians, while Robert's son-in-law Raoul/Rudolph was a Bosonid. The Robertian Dynasty became the Capetian Dynasty with the ascent to the throne of Hugh Capet (son of Hugh the Great, son of Robert I) in 987. The rise and fall of Carolingian Charles III played out during the ascent of these non-Carolingian kings.

Portrait Name King From King Until Relationship with Predecessor(s) Title
Pepin the Younger the Short
(Pépin le Bref)
752 24 September 768  • Son of Charles Martel King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Carloman I 24 September 768 4 December 771  • Son of Pepin the Short King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Charlemagne (Charles I) 24 September 768 28 January 814  • Son of Pepin the Short King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)

Emperor of the Romans
(Imperator Romanorum)
(800–814)
Louis I the Pious, the Debonaire
(Louis Ier le Pieux, le Débonnaire)
28 January 814 20 June 840  • Son of Charlemagne King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)

Emperor of the Romans
(Imperator Romanorum)
Charles II the Bald
(Charles II le Chauve)
20 June 840 6 October 877  • Son of Louis I King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)

Emperor of the Romans
(Imperator Romanorum)
(875–877)
Louis II the Stammerer
(Louis II le Bègue)
6 October 877 10 April 879  • Son of Charles II King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Louis III 10 April 879 5 August 882  • Son of Louis II King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Carloman II 5 August 882 6 December 884  • Son of Louis II King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Charles the Fat
(Charles le Gros)
20 May 885 13 January 888  • Son of Louis the German
 • Cousin of Louis II and Carloman II
 • Grandson of Louis I the Pious
King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)

Emperor of the Romans
(Imperator Romanorum)
(881–887)
Odo of Paris
(Eudes de Paris)
29 February 888 1 January 898  • Son of Robert the Strong (Robertians)
 • Elected king against young Charles III.
King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Charles III the Simple
(Charles III le Simple)
28 January 893 30 June 922  • Posthumous son of Louis II
 • Younger half-brother of Louis III and Carloman II
King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Robert I
(Robert Ier)
30 June 922 15 June 923  • Son of Robert the Strong (Robertians)
 • Younger brother of Odo
King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Rudolph
(Raoul de France)
13 July 923 14 January 936  • Son of Richard, Duke of Burgundy (Bosonids)
 • Son-in-law of Robert I
King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Louis IV from overseas
(Louis IV d'Outremer)
19 June 936 10 September 954  • Son of Charles III King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Lothair
(Lothaire de France)
12 November 954 2 March 986  • Son of Louis IV King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Louis V the Lazy
(Louis V le Fainéant)
8 June 986 22 May 987  • Son of Lothair King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)

Capetian Dynasty (987–1792)

The Capetian Dynasty, the male-line descendants of Hugh Capet, ruled France continuously from 987 to 1792 and again from 1814 to 1848. The branches of the dynasty which ruled after 1328, however, are generally given the specific branch names of Valois and Bourbon.

House of Capet (987–1328)

Portrait Coat of Arms Name King From King Until Relationship with Predecessor(s) Title
Hugh Capet
(Hugues Capet)
3 July 987 24 October 996  • Grandson of Robert I King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Robert II the Pious, the Wise
(Robert II le Pieux, le Sage)
24 October 996 20 July 1031  • Son of Hugh Capet King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Henry I
(Henri Ier)
20 July 1031 4 August 1060  • Son of Robert II King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Philip I the Amorous
(Philippe Ier l' Amoureux)
4 August 1060 29 July 1108  • Son of Henry I King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Louis VI the Fat
(Louis VI le Gros)
29 July 1108 1 August 1137  • Son of Philip I King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Louis VII the Young
(Louis VII le Jeune)
1 August 1137 18 September 1180  • Son of Louis VI King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Philip II Augustus
(Philippe II Auguste)
18 September 1180 14 July 1223  • Son of Louis VII King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
King of France
(Roi de France)
Louis VIII the Lion
(Louis VIII le Lion)
14 July 1223 8 November 1226  • Son of Philip II Augustus King of France
(Roi de France)
Louis IX the Saint
(Saint Louis)
8 November 1226 25 August 1270  • Son of Louis VIII King of France
(Roi de France)
Philip III the Bold
(Philippe III le Hardi)
25 August 1270 5 October 1285  • Son of Louis IX King of France
(Roi de France)
100px Philip IV the Fair
(Philippe IV le Bel)
5 October 1285 29 November 1314  • Son of Philip III King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)
Louis X the Quarreller
(Louis X le Hutin)
29 November 1314 5 June 1316  • Son of Philip IV King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)
John I the Posthumous
(Jean Ier le Posthume)
15 November 1316 20 November 1316  • Son of Louis X King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)
Philip V the Tall
(Philippe V le Long)
20 November 1316 3 January 1322  • Son of Philip IV
 • Younger brother of Louis X
King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)
Charles IV the Fair
(Charles IV le Bel)
3 January 1322 1 February 1328  • Son of Philip IV
 • Younger brother of Philip V
King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)

Not listed above are Hugh Magnus, eldest son of Robert II, and Philip of France, eldest son of Louis VI; both were co-Kings with their fathers (in accordance with the early Capetian practice whereby Kings would crown their heirs in their own lifetimes and share power with the co-king), but predeceased them. Because neither Hugh nor Philip were sole or senior king in their own lifetimes, they are not traditionally listed as Kings of France, and are not given ordinals.

House of Valois (1328–1589)

Portrait Coat of Arms Name King From King Until Relationship with Predecessor(s) Title
Philip VI of Valois, the Fortunate
(Philippe VI de Valois, le Fortuné)
1 April 1328 22 August 1350  • Grandson of Philip III of France King of France
(Roi de France)
John II the Good
(Jean II le Bon)
22 August 1350 8 April 1364  • Son of Philip VI King of France
(Roi de France)
Charles V the Wise
(Charles V le Sage)
8 April 1364 16 September 1380  • Son of John II King of France
(Roi de France)
Charles VI the Beloved, the Mad
(Charles VI le Bienaimé, le Fol)
16 September 1380 21 October 1422  • Son of Charles V King of France
(Roi de France)
Charles VII the Victorious, the Well-Served
(Charles VII le Victorieux, le Bien-Servi)
21 October 1422 22 July 1461  • Son of Charles VI King of France
(Roi de France)
Louis XI the Prudent, the Cunning, the Universal Spider
(Louis XI le Prudent, le Rusé, l'Universelle Aragne)
22 July 1461 30 August 1483  • Son of Charles VII King of France
(Roi de France)
Charles VIII the Affable
(Charles VIII l'Affable)
30 August 1483 7 April 1498  • Son of Louis XI King of France
(Roi de France)

Orléans branch (1498–1515)

Portrait Coat of Arms Name King From King Until Relationship with Predecessor(s) Title
Louis XII Father of the People
(Louis XII le Père du Peuple)
7 April 1498 1 January 1515  • Great-grandson of Charles V
 • Second cousin, and by first marriage son-in-law of Louis XI
 • By second marriage husband of Anne of Brittany, widow of Charles VIII
King of France
(Roi de France)

Orléans–Angoulême Branch (1515–1589)

Portrait Coat of Arms Name King From King Until Relationship with Predecessor(s) Title
Francis I the Father and Restorer of Letters
(François Ier le Père et Restaurateur des Lettres)
1 January 1515 31 March 1547  • Great-great-grandson of Charles V
 • First cousin once removed, and by
first marriage son-in-law of Louis XII
King of France
(Roi de France)
Henry II
(Henri II)
31 March 1547 10 July 1559  • Son of Francis I/grandson of Louis XII King of France
(Roi de France)
Francis II
(François II)
10 July 1559 5 December 1560  • Son of Henry II King of France
(Roi de France)

King of Scots
(1558–1560)
Charles IX 5 December 1560 30 May 1574  • Son of Henry II
 • Younger brother of Francis II
King of France
(Roi de France)
Henry III
(Henri III)
30 May 1574 2 August 1589  • Son of Henry II
 • Younger brother of Charles IX
King of France
(Roi de France)

King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania
(1573–1575)

House of Bourbon (1589–1792)

Portrait Coat of Arms Name King From King Until Relationship with Predecessor(s) Title
Henry IV, Good King Henry, the Green Gallant
(Henri IV, le Bon Roi Henri, le Vert-Galant)
2 August 1589 14 May 1610  • Tenth generation descendant of Louis IX in the male line
 • Grandnephew in law of Francis I and Henry II, Brother in law of Francis II, Charles IX and Henry III
King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)
Louis XIII the Just
(Louis XIII le Juste)
14 May 1610 14 May 1643  • Son of Henry IV King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)
Louis XIV the Great, the Sun King
(Louis XIV le Grand, le Roi Soleil)
14 May 1643 1 September 1715  • Son of Louis XIII King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)
Louis XV the Beloved
(Louis XV le Bien-Aimé)
1 September 1715 10 May 1774  • Great-grandson of Louis XIV King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)
Louis XVI the Restorer of French Liberty
(Louis XVI le Restaurateur de la Liberté Française)
10 May 1774 21 September 1792  • Grandson of Louis XV King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)
(1774–1791)

King of the French
(Roi des Français)
(1791–1792)

From 21 January 1793 to 8 June 1795, Louis XVI's son Louis-Charles was the titular King of France as Louis XVII; in reality, however, he was imprisoned in the Temple throughout this duration, and power was held by the leaders of the Republic. Upon Louis XVII's death, his uncle (Louis XVI's brother) Louis-Stanislas claimed the throne, as Louis XVIII, but only became de facto King of France in 1814.

First Republic (1792–1804)

The First French Republic lasted from 1792 to 1804, when its First Consul, Napoléon Bonaparte, declared himself Emperor of the French.

House of Bonaparte, First Empire (1804–1814)

Portrait Coat of Arms Name Emperor From Emperor Until Relationship with Predecessor(s) Title
Napoleon I, the Great
(Napoléon Ier, le Grand)
18 May 1804 11 April 1814 - Emperor of the French
(Empereur des Français)

House of Bourbon, Bourbon Restoration (1814–1815)

Portrait Coat of Arms Name King From King Until Relationship with Predecessor(s) Title
Louis XVIII 11 April 1814 20 March 1815  • Grandson of Louis XV  • Brother of Louis XVI King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)

House of Bonaparte, First Empire (Hundred Days, 1815)

Portrait Coat of Arms Name Emperor From Emperor Until Relationship with Predecessor(s) Title
Napoleon I
(Napoléon Ier)
20 March 1815 22 June 1815 - Emperor of the French
(Empereur des Français)
Napoleon II
(Napoléon II)
[3]
22 June 1815 7 July 1815 Son of Napoleon I Emperor of the French
(Empereur des Français)

House of Bourbon (1815–1830)

Portrait Coat of Arms Name King From King Until Relationship with Predecessor(s) Title
Louis XVIII 7 July 1815 16 September 1824  • Grandson of Louis XV  • Brother of Louis XVI King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)
Charles X 16 September 1824 2 August 1830  • Grandson of Louis XV  • Brother of Louis XVI King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)

The elder son of Charles X, the Dauphin Louis-Antoine, is occasionally considered to have legally been the King of France as Louis XIX in the 20 minutes that passed between Charles X's formal signature of abdication and the Dauphin's own signature.
Henri d'Artois, Charles X's grandson, was considered by monarchists to be the titular King of France, as Henry V from 2 August 1830 to 9 August 1830, but his reign remained largely fictional, as he acceded in a revolutionary context and hence was never recognized by the French State. He is generally not accounted for in lists of official French monarchs.

House of Orléans, July Monarchy (1830–1848)

Portrait Coat of Arms Name King From King Until Relationship with Predecessor(s) Title
Louis-Philippe I the Citizen King
(Louis Philippe, le Roi Citoyen)
9 August 1830 24 February 1848  • Sixth generation descendant of Louis XIII in the male line
 • Fifth cousin of Louis XVI, Louis XVIII and Charles X
King of the French
(Roi des Français)

Second Republic (1848–1852)

The Second French Republic lasted from 1848 to 1852, when its president, Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, was declared Emperor of the French.

House of Bonaparte, Second Empire (1852–1870)

Portrait Coat of Arms Name Emperor From Emperor Until Relationship with Predecessor(s) Title
Napoleon III
(Napoléon III)
2 December 1852 4 September 1870  • Nephew of Napoleon I Emperor of the French
(Empereur des Français)

Government of National Defence (Paris Commune 1870–1871)

The transition period between the fall of the Second Empire after the capture of Napoleon III by the Prussians and the assumption of the Third Republic by General Louis Jules Trochu.

Heads of State following 1871

The chronology of Head of State of France continues with the Presidents of France and short term interim periods by the Chief of State of the French State (1940–1944), the Chairman of the Provisional Government of the French Republic (1944–1946) and the President of the French Senate (1969 and 1974) during the Fifth Republic.

Later pretenders

Various pretenders descended from the preceding monarchs have claimed to be the legitimate monarch of France, rejecting the claims of the President of France, and of each other. These groups are:

See also

Notes

References

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