List of French monarchs

The monarchs of the Kingdom of France and its predecessors (and successor monarchies) ruled from the establishment of the Kingdom of the Franks in 486 until the fall of the Second French Empire in 1870, with several interruptions.

Sometimes included as 'Kings of France'[1] are the kings of the Franks of the Merovingian dynasty, which ruled from 486 until 751,[2] and of the Carolingians, who ruled until 987 (with some interruptions).

The Capetian dynasty, the male-line descendants of Hugh Capet, included the first rulers to adopt the title of 'King of France' for the first time with Philip II (r. 1180–1223). The Capetians ruled 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 (until 1589) and Bourbon (until 1848).

During the brief period when the French Constitution of 1791 was in effect (1791–92) and after the July Revolution in 1830, the style of "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.[3]

With the House of Bonaparte, "Emperors of the French" ruled in 19th-century France between 1804 and 1814, again in 1815, and between 1852 and 1870.

Family tree of French monarchs 509–1870
Family tree of French monarchs 509–1870
Monarchy of France
Grand Royal Coat of Arms of France & Navarre
Charles X Roi de France et de Navarre
King of France
Charles X

16 September 1824 – 2 August 1830
Details
First monarchClovis I (as King)
Last monarchNapoleon III (as Emperor)
Formation509
Abolition4 September 1870
ResidencePalais de la Cité
Louvre Palace
Palace of Versailles
Tuileries Palace
AppointerHereditary
Pretender(s)Louis Alphonse
(House of Bourbon)
Jean d'Orléans
(House of Orléans)
Jean-Christophe
(House of Bonaparte)

Titles

The title "King of the Franks" (Latin: Rex Francorum) gradually lost ground after 1190, during the reign of Philip II (but FRANCORUM REX continued to be used, for example by Louis XII in 1499, by Francis I in 1515, and by Henry II about 1550). It was used on coins up to the eighteenth century.[n 1] 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.[5]

In addition to the Kingdom of France, there were also two French Empires, the first from 1804 to 1814 and again in 1815, founded and ruled by Napoleon I, and the second from 1852 to 1870, founded and ruled by his nephew Napoleon III (also known as Louis-Napoleon). They used the title "Emperor of the French".[6][7]

This article lists all rulers to have held the title "King of the Franks", "King of France", "King of the French" or "Emperor of the French". For other Frankish monarchs, see List of Frankish kings. In addition to the monarchs listed below, the Kings of England and Great Britain from 1340–60, 1369-1420, and 1422–1801 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.

Frankish Empire

Merovingian dynasty (509–751)

The Merovingians were a Salian Frankish dynasty that ruled the Franks for nearly 300 years in a region known as Francia in Latin, beginning in the middle of the 5th century. Their territory largely corresponded to ancient Gaul as well as the Roman provinces of Raetia, Germania Superior and the southern part of Germania. The Merovingian dynasty was supposedly founded by Merovech, son of Chlodio, leader of the Salian Franks. But it rose to historical prominence with the reign of his supposed son Childeric I (c. 458-481) and supposed grandson Clovis I (481–511), who united all of Gaul under Merovingian rule.[8]

Portrait Name King from King until Death Relationship with predecessor(s) Title
Clovis 1er Clovis I
 509 511 Died of natural causes aged 45. Buried at Abbey of St Genevieve until 18th century. Remains relocated to Basilica of St Denis.  • Son of Childeric I King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
After Clovis's death, his kingdom was divided among his four sons, who took up residences in different cities. The number and extent of the parts of the kingdom varied over time. Clothar I, the youngest son, eventually reunited the kingdom.
Theuderic, eldest son of Clovis, became king at Reims. His line ended in 555, after which its lands passed to his youngest brother Chlothar.
Portrait Roi de france Thierri Ier Theuderic I
(Thierry)
511 533 or 534 Died aged 48.  • Eldest son of Clovis I King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
at Reims
Theodebert I 534 548 king of Metz Theudebert I
(Thibert)
533 or 534 547 or 548 Killed in a hunting accident, aged 47.  • Son of Theuderic I King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
at Reims
Theudebald
(Thibaut)
547 or 548 555 Died aged 20.  • Son of Theudebert I King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
at Reims
Chlodomer, Clovis' second son, became king at Orléans. His sons were murdered and he died shortly afterwards; his realm was divided between his two younger brothers, Childebert and Chlothar.
Clodomir supervise l'execution de Sigismond Chlodomer
(Chlodomir)
511 25 June 524 Killed in the Battle of Vézeronce, aged 29.  • Second (surviving) son of Clovis I King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
at Orléans
Childebert, third son of Clovis, became king at Paris. He died in 558 and his lands passed to his youngest brother Chlothar.
Tiers de sou d'or de Childebert Ier Childebert I
511 13 December 558 Died aged 62. Buried at Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés.  • Third (surviving) son of Clovis I King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
at Paris
Chlothar, fourth and youngest son of Clovis, became king at Soissons. By 558 he had inherited the lands of his older brothers and thus reunited all of the Frankish territories that had been held by his father.
Monnaie d'argent de Clotaire Ier Chlothar the Old
(Clotaire)
511 29 November 561 Died aged 64. Buried at Abbey of St. Medard, Soissons.  • Youngest son of Clovis I King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
at Soissons
After Clothar's death, the kingdom was divided among his four sons. The parts of the kingdom varied over time and eventually developed into three distinct realms. Neustria, centred at Soisson and Paris, Austrasia, centered at Metz, and Burgundy, centered at Orléans. Clothar II, grandson of Clothar I, eventually reunited the kingdom.
Charibert, Chlothar's eldest surviving son, became king of the Franks at Paris. He died without issue in 567 and his realm was partitioned between his younger brothers.
Tiers de sou de Caribert Ier frappé à Aire Charibert I
(Caribert)
29 November 561 567 Died aged 50. Buried at Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés.  • Eldest son of Chlothar I King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
at Paris
Guntram, Chlothar's second surviving son, became king of Burgundy (king of the Franks at Orléans). At his death he was succeeded by his nephew Childebert II of the Franks, who was the son of Guntram's younger brother Sigebert.
Tiers de sou de Gontran frappé à Chalon-sur-Saône.jpeg Guntram
(Gontran)
29 November 561 592 Died aged 60. Buried at Saint Marcellus, Chalon-sur-Saône.  • Second son of Chlothar I King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
at Orléans
Sigebert, Chlothar's third surviving son, became king of Austrasia (king of the Franks at Reims/Metz).
Sigebert I
29 November 561 575 Murdered at Vitry-en-Artois, aged 40.  • Third son of Chlothar I King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
at Metz
Childebert II, Sigebert's son, inherited Austrasia from his father and Burgundy from his uncle. He was succeeded in Austrasia by his eldest son Theudebert II and in Burgundy by his yonger son Theuderic II.
Childebert II Childebert II
575 595 Died aged 24.  • Son of Sigebert I

 • Adopted son of Guntram

King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
King of Austrasia and (after 592) Burgundy
Theudebert II, Childebert II's eldest son, reigned as king in Austrasia but he and his son were murdered. His lands passed to his younger brother Theuderic II, who reunited the realms of Austrasia and Burgundy (which had been both held by their father Childebert II).
Tiers de sou de Théodebert II frappé à Clermont Theudebert II
(Thibert)
595 612 Murdered, aged 26.  • Older son of Childebert II King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
King of Austrasia
Theuderic II, Childebert II's youngest son, inherited Burgundy from his father and later Austrasia from his older brother Theudebert II. He was succeeded by his son Sigebert II.
Theuderic II
(Thierry)
595 613 Died, aged 26.  • Younger son of Childebert II King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
King of Burgundy (595-613) and Austrasia (612-613)
Sigebert II
613 613 Executed, aged 12.  • Son of Theuderic II King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
King of Austrasia and Burgundy
Chilperic, youngest son of Chlothar I, reigned as king of Neustria (Soissons). The deaths of his older brothers and their descendants resulted in his son and successor Chlothar II once again reuniting the Frankish realms.
Portrait Roi de france Chilpéric roy de France Chilperic I
(Chilpéric)
29 November 561 584 Died aged 45. Buried at Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés.  • Youngest son of Chlothar I King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
at Soissons
Clothaire II 584 628 Chlothar II the Great, the Young
(Clotaire)
584 18 October 629 Died aged 45. Buried at Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés.  • Son of Chilperic I King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
at Soissons
King of Neustria (595-639)
King of Burgundy (613-629)
King of Austrasia (613-623)
Following the reunification of the kingdom, Neustria and Burgundy remained under the direct rule of the King of the Franks, while Austrasia was soon put under the rule of a junior king. The following list restricts itself to the kings ruling in Neustria and Burgundy.
Tiers de sou or Dagobert Ier Dagobert I 18 October 629 19 January 639 Died aged 36. Buried at Basilica of St Denis.  • Son of Chlothar II King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Tiers de sous d'or de Clovis II Clovis II the Lazy c. 634 31 October 657 Died aged 23. Buried at Basilica of St Denis.  • Son of Dagobert I King of Neustria and Burgundy
(Roi de Neustrie et de Bourgogne)
Clothar III Chlothar III
(Clotaire)
31 October 657 673 Died aged 24. Buried at Basilica of St Denis.  • Son of Clovis II King of Neustria and Burgundy
(Roi de Neustrie et de Bourgogne)
King of Austrasia
(661–662)
Portrait Roi de france Childéric II Childeric II
(Childéric)
673 675 Died aged 22. Buried at Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés.  • Son of Clovis II
 • Younger brother of Chlothar III
King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Theuderic III Theuderic III
(Thierry)
675 691 Died aged 37.  • 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 691 694 Died aged 17.  • Son of Theuderic III King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Childebert III 694 711 Childebert III the Just 694 23 April 711 Died aged 33. Buried at Church of St Stephen at Choisy-au-Bac, near Compiègne.  • Son of Theuderic III
 • Younger brother of Clovis IV
King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Portrait Roi de france Dagobert II (i.e III) Dagobert III 23 April 711 715 Died aged 17.  • Son of Childebert III King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Portrait Roy de france Chilperic II Chilperic II
(Chilpéric II)
715 13 February 721 Died aged 49. Buried at Noyon.  • 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)
Theuderic IV Theuderic IV 721 737 Died aged 23.  • Son of Dagobert III King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
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 Childeric and became King in his place.
Jean Dassier (1676-1763) - Childéric III roy de France (754) Childeric III
(Childéric)
743 November 751 Died aged 37.  • Son of Chilperic II or of Theuderic IV. King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)

Carolingian dynasty (751–888)

The Carolingian dynasty was a Frankish noble family with origins in the Arnulfing and Pippinid clans of the 7th century AD. The family consolidated its power in the 8th century, eventually making the offices of mayor of the palace and dux et princeps Francorum hereditary and becoming the real powers behind the Merovingian kings. In 751, a Carolingian, Pepin the Younger, dethroned the Merovingians and with the consent of the Papacy and the aristocracy, was crowned King of the Franks.[9]

Portrait Name King from King until Death Relationship with predecessor(s) Title
Amiel - Pepin the Short Pepin the Short 751 24 September 768  • Son of Charles Martel and Rotrude of Hesbaye, a maternal granddaughter of Theuderic III King of the Franks
Carloman1.jpg Carloman I 24 September 768 4 December 771  • Son of Pepin King of the Franks
Louis-Félix Amiel - Charlemagne empereur d'Occident (742-814) Charlemagne
Charlemagne
24 September 768 28 January 814  • Son of Pepin King of the Franks
Emperor of the Romans from 800
Jean-Joseph Dassy (1796-1865) - Louis Ier dit le Pieux (778-840), empereur d'Occident Louis I the Pious 28 January 814 20 June 840  • Son of Charlemagne King of the Franks
Emperor of the Romans
Steuben - Charles the Bald Charles I the Bald 20 June 840 6 October 877  • Son of Louis I King of the Franks
Emperor of the Romans (875–77)
Amiel - Louis the Stammerer Louis II the Stammerer 6 October 877 10 April 879  • Son of Charles II King of the Franks
King Louis III Louis III 10 April 879 5 August 882  • Son of Louis II King of the Franks
Carloman II of France Carloman II 5 August 882 6 December 884  • Son of Louis II King of the Franks
Amiel - Charles the Fat Charles II the Fat 20 May 885 13 January 888  • Son of Louis the German
 • Cousin of Louis II and Carloman II
 • Grandson of Louis I
King of the Franks
Emperor of the Romans (881–88)

Robertian dynasty (888–898)

The Robertians were Frankish noblemen owing fealty to the Carolingians, and ancestors of the subsequent Capetian dynasty. Odo, Count of Paris, was chosen by the western Franks to be their king following the removal of emperor Charles the Fat. He was crowned at Compiègne in February 888 by Walter, Archbishop of Sens.[10]

Portrait Name King from King until Relationship with predecessor(s) Title
Odo of France Odo of Paris
(Eudes)
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)

Carolingian dynasty (898–922)

Charles, the posthumous son of Louis II, was crowned by a faction opposed to the Robertian Odo at Reims Cathedral, though he only became the effectual monarch with the death of Odo in 898.[11]

Portrait Name King from King until Relationship with predecessor(s) Title
Georges Rouget (1783-1869) - Charles III, dit le simple, roi de France en 896 (879-929) Charles III the Simple 28 January 898 30 June 922  • Posthumous son of Louis II
 • Younger half-brother of Louis III and Carloman II
King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)

Robertian dynasty (922–923)

Portrait Name King from King until Relationship with predecessor(s) Title
Robert Ier roi des Francs Robert I 30 June 922 15 June 923  • Son of Robert the Strong (Robertians)
 • Younger brother of Odo
King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)

Bosonid dynasty (923–936)

The Bosonids were a noble family descended from Boso the Elder, their member, Rudolph (Raoul), was elected "King of the Franks" in 923.

Portrait Name King from King until Relationship with predecessor(s) Title
Dejuinne - Rudolph of France Rudolph
(Raoul)
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)

Carolingian dynasty (936–987)

Portrait Name King from King until Relationship with predecessor(s) Title
Steuben - Louis IV of France Louis IV of Outremer 19 June 936 10 September 954  • Son of Charles III the Simple King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Monvoisin - Lothair of France Lothair 12 November 954 2 March 986  • Son of Louis IV King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Amiel - Louis V of France Louis V 8 June 986 22 May 987  • Son of Lothair King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)

Capetian dynasty (987–1792)

After the death of Louis V, the son of Hugh the Great and grandson of Robert I, Hugh Capet, was elected by the nobility as king of France. The Capetian Dynasty, the male-line descendants of Hugh Capet, ruled France continuously from 987 to 1792 and again from 1814 to 1848. They were direct descendants of the Robertian kings. The cadet branches of the dynasty which ruled after 1328, however, are generally given the specific branch names of Valois and Bourbon.

Not listed below 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.

Henry VI of England, son of Catherine of Valois, became titular King of France upon his grandfather Charles VI's death in accordance with the Treaty of Troyes of 1420; however this was disputed and he is not always regarded as a legitimate king of France. English claims to the French throne actually date from 1328, when Edward III claimed the throne after the death of Charles IV. Other than Henry VI, none had ever had their claim backed by treaty, and his title became contested after 1429, when Charles VII was crowned. Henry himself was crowned by a different faction in 1431, though at the age of 10, he had yet to come of age. The final phase of the Hundred Years War was fought between these competing factions, resulting in a Valois victory at the Battle of Castillon in 1453, putting an end to any meaningful claims of the English monarchs over the throne of France, though English (and later British) monarchs would continue to use the title "King of France" until 1801.

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.

House of Capet (987–1328)

The main line of descent from Hugh Capet is known as the House of Capet. That line became extinct in 1328, creating a succession crisis known as the Hundred Years War. While there were numerous claimants to succeed, the two best claimants were the House of Valois and the House of Plantagenet and then later the House of Lancaster.

Portrait Coat of arms Name King from King until Relationship with predecessor(s) Title
King Hugh Capet Hugh Capet 3 July 987 24 October 996  • Grandson of Robert I King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Blondel - Robert II of France Robert II the Pious, the Wise 24 October 996 20 July 1031  • Son of Hugh Capet
Blondel - Henry I of France Henry I
(Henri)
20 July 1031 4 August 1060  • Son of Robert II
Saint-Èvre - Philip I of France Philip I the Amorous
(Philippe)
4 August 1060 29 July 1108  • Son of Henry I
Blondel - Louis VI of France Louis VI the Fat 29 July 1108 1 August 1137  • Son of Philip I
Decaisne - Louis VII of France Arms of the Kingdom of France (Ancien) Louis VII the Young 1 August 1137 18 September 1180  • Son of Louis VI
Louis-Félix Amiel-Philippe II dit Philippe-Auguste Roi de France (1165-1223) Arms of the Kingdom of France (Ancien) Philip II Augustus
(Philippe Auguste)
18 September 1180 14 July 1223  • Son of Louis VII King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
King of France
(Roi de France)
Lehmann - Louis VIII of France Arms of the Kingdom of France (Ancien) Louis VIII the Lion 14 July 1223 8 November 1226  • Son of Philip II Augustus King of France
(Roi de France)
Louis-ix Arms of the Kingdom of France (Ancien) Louis IX the Saint
(Saint Louis)
8 November 1226 25 August 1270  • Son of Louis VIII
Jollivet - Philip III of France Arms of the Kingdom of France (Ancien) Philip III the Bold
(Philippe)
25 August 1270 5 October 1285  • Son of Louis IX
Bézard - Philippe IV le bel Arms of the Kingdom of France & Navarre (Ancien) Philip IV the Fair, the Iron King
(Philippe)
5 October 1285 29 November 1314  • Son of Philip III King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)
Tassaert - Louis X of France Arms of the Kingdom of France & Navarre (Ancien) Louis X the Quarreller 29 November 1314 5 June 1316  • Son of Philip IV
John I of France Arms of the Kingdom of France & Navarre (Ancien) John I the Posthumous
(Jean)
15 November 1316 20 November 1316  • Son of Louis X
Debacq - Philip V of France Arms of the Kingdom of France & Navarre (Ancien) Philip V the Tall
(Philippe)
20 November 1316 3 January 1322  • Son of Philip IV
 • Younger brother of Louis X
Déhérain - Charles IV of France Arms of the Kingdom of France & Navarre (Ancien) Charles IV the Fair 3 January 1322 1 February 1328  • Son of Philip IV
 • Younger brother of Louis X and Philip V

House of Valois (1328–1589)

The death of Charles IV started the Hundred Years' War between the House of Valois and the House of Plantagenet later the House of Lancaster over control of the French throne.[12] The Valois claimed the right to the succession by male-only primogeniture, having the closest all-male line of descent from a recent French king. They were descended from the third son of Philip III, Charles, Count of Valois. The Plantagenets based their claim on being closer to a more recent French King, Edward III of England being a grandson of Philip IV through his mother, Isabella. The two houses fought the Hundred Years War to enforce their claims; the Valois were ultimately successful, and French historiography counts their leaders as rightful kings. One Plantagenet, Henry VI of England, did enjoy de jure control of the French throne under the terms of the Treaty of Troyes, which formed the basis for continued English claims to the throne of France until the 19th century. The Valois line would rule France until the line became extinct in 1589, in the backdrop of the French Wars of Religion. As Navarre did not have a tradition of male-only primogeniture, the Navarrese monarchy became distinct from the French, with Joan II, a daughter of Louis X, inheriting there.

Portrait Coat of arms Name King from King until Relationship with predecessor(s) Title
Phil6france Arms of the Kingdom of France (Ancien) Philip VI the Fortunate
(Philippe)
1 April 1328 22 August 1350  • Grandson of Philip III of France King of France
(Roi de France)
JeanIIdFrance Arms of the Kingdom of France (Ancien) John II the Good
(Jean)
22 August 1350 8 April 1364  • Son of Philip VI King of France
(Roi de France)
Saint-Èvre - Charles V of France Arms of the Kingdom of France (Ancien)Arms of the Kingdom of France (Moderne) Charles V the Wise 8 April 1364 16 September 1380  • Son of John II King of France
(Roi de France)
Charles VI de France - Dialogues de Pierre Salmon - Bib de Genève MsFr165f4 Arms of the Kingdom of France (Moderne) Charles VI the Beloved, the Mad 16 September 1380 21 October 1422  • Son of Charles V King of France
(Roi de France)

House of Lancaster (1422–1453) (disputed)

Portrait Coat of arms Name King from King until Claim Title
King Henry VI from NPG (2) Coat of Arms of Henry VI of England (1422-1471) Henry VI of England
(Henri VI d'Angleterre)
21 October 1422 19 October 1453 By right of his father Henry V of England, who by the Treaty of Troyes became heir and regent of France. Grandson of Charles VI of France. King of France
(Roi de France)

House of Valois (1328–1589)

Portrait Coat of arms Name King from King until Relationship with predecessor Title
Charles VII by Jean Fouquet 1445 1450 Arms of the Kingdom of France (Moderne) Charles VII the Victorious, the Well-Served 21 October 1422 22 July 1461  • Son of Charles VI
 • Uncle of Henry VI of England
King of France.
(Roi de France)
Louis-XI Arms of the Kingdom of France (Moderne) Louis XI the Prudent, the Cunning, the Universal Spider 22 July 1461 30 August 1483  • Son of Charles VII King of France
(Roi de France)
Charles VIII Ecole Francaise 16th century Musee de Conde Chantilly Coat of Arms of Charles VIII of France Charles VIII the Affable 30 August 1483 7 April 1498  • Son of Louis XI King of France
(Roi de France)
Louis-xii-roi-de-france Arms of the Kingdom of France (Moderne) Louis XII Father of the People 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)
Jean Clouet 001 Coat of arms of France 1515-1578 Francis I the Father and Restorer of Letters
(François)
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 of France. Coat of arms of France 1515-1578 Henry II
(Henri)
31 March 1547 10 July 1559  • Son of Francis I/Maternal grandson of Louis XII King of France
(Roi de France)
FrancoisII Coat of arms of France 1515-1578 Francis II
(François)
10 July 1559 5 December 1560  • Son of Henry II King of France
(Roi de France)

King of Scots
(1558–1560)
Bemberg Fondation Toulouse - Portrait de Charles IX - François Clouet - Inv.1012 Coat of arms of France 1515-1578 Charles IX 5 December 1560 30 May 1574  • Son of Henry II King of France
(Roi de France)
Anjou 1570louvre Coat of arms of France 1515-1578 Henry III
(Henri)
30 May 1574 2 August 1589  • Son of Henry II King of France
(Roi de France)

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

House of Bourbon (1589–1792)

The Valois line looked strong on the death of Henry II, who left four male heirs. His first son, Francis II, died in his minority. His second son, Charles IX, had no legitimate sons to inherit. Following the premature death of his fourth son Hercule François, and the assassination of his third son, the childless Henry III, France was plunged into a succession crisis over which distant cousin of the king would inherit the throne. The best claimant, King Henry III of Navarre, was a Protestant, and thus unacceptable to much of the French nobility. Ultimately, after winning numerous battles in defence of his claim, Henry converted to Catholicism and was crowned king, founding the House of Bourbon. This marked the second time the thrones of Navarre and France were united under one monarch; as different inheritance laws had caused them to become separated during the events of the Hundred Years Wars. The House of Bourbon would be overthrown during the French Revolution, replaced by a short-lived republic.

Portrait Coat of arms Name King from King until Relationship with predecessor(s) Title
Augustins - Henri IV, roi de France et de Navarre - Jacques Boulbène Grand Royal Coat of Arms of France & Navarre Henry IV the Green Gallant Good King Henry
(Henri)
2 August 1589 14 May 1610  • Tenth generation descendant of Louis IX in the male line
 • By first marriage son in law of 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)
LouisXIII Grand Royal Coat of Arms of France & Navarre Louis XIII the Just 14 May 1610 14 May 1643  • Son of Henry IV King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)
Hyacinthe Rigaud - Louis XIV, roi de France (1638-1715) - Google Art Project Grand Royal Coat of Arms of France & Navarre Louis XIV the Great the Sun King 14 May 1643 1 September 1715  • Son of Louis XIII King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)
LouisXV-Rigaud1 Grand Royal Coat of Arms of France & Navarre Louis XV the Beloved
1 September 1715 10 May 1774  • Great-grandson of Louis XIV King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)
Antoine-François Callet - Louis XVI, roi de France et de Navarre (1754-1793), revêtu du grand costume royal en 1779 - Google Art Project Grand Royal Coat of Arms of France & Navarre Louis XVI the Restorer of French Liberty 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)
Louis XVII coll Ulysse Moussali Grand Royal Coat of Arms of France & Navarre Louis XVII
(Claimant)
21 January 1793 8 June 1795  • Son of Louis XVI (Disputed) King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)

House of Bonaparte, First Empire (1804–1814)

The French First Republic lasted from 1792 to 1804, after which its popular First Consul, Napoléon Bonaparte, decided to make France a monarchy again. He took the popular title Emperor of the French instead of King of France and Navarre or King of the French to avoid all titles of the Kingdom of France making France's second popular monarchy.

Portrait Coat of arms Name Emperor from Emperor until Relationship with predecessor(s) Title
Napoleon I (by Anne Louis Girodet de Roucy-Trioson) Grandes Armes Impériales (1804-1815)2 Napoleon I
(Napoléon)
18 May 1804 11 April 1814 Founder of the Bonaparte dynasty Emperor of the French
(Empereur des Français)

Capetian Dynasty (1814–1815)

Following the first defeat of Napoleon and his exile to Elba, the Bourbon monarchy was restored, with Louis XVI's younger brother Louis Stanislas being crowned as Louis XVIII. Louis XVI's son had been considered by monarchists as Louis XVII but he was never crowned and never ruled in his own right before his own death; he is not usually counted among French monarchs, creating a gap in numbering on most traditional lists of French kings. Napoleon would briefly regain control of the country during his Hundred Days rule in 1815. After his final defeat at the Battle of Waterloo, Napoleon attempted to abdicate in favour of his son, but the Bourbon Monarchy was re-established yet again, and would continue to rule France until the July Revolution of 1830 replaced it with a cadet branch, the House of Orleans.

House of Bourbon, Bourbon Restoration (1814–1815)

Portrait Coat of arms Name King from King until Relationship with predecessor(s) Title
Guérin - Louis XVIII of France in Coronation Robes Coat of Arms of the Bourbon Restoration (1815-30) Louis XVIII the Desired 11 April 1814 20 March 1815  • Grandson of Louis XV  • Younger 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 (by Anne Louis Girodet de Roucy-Trioson) Grandes Armes Impériales (1804-1815)2 Napoleon I
(Napoléon)
20 March 1815 22 June 1815 Founder of the Bonaparte dynasty Emperor of the French
(Empereur des Français)
80 Napoleon II Grandes Armes Impériales (1804-1815)2 Napoleon II the Eaglet
(Napoléon)
[n 2]
22 June 1815 7 July 1815  • Son of Napoleon I (Disputed) Emperor of the French
(Empereur des Français)

Capetian dynasty (1815–1848)

House of Bourbon (1815–1830)

Portrait Coat of arms Name King from King until Relationship with predecessor(s) Title
Guérin - Louis XVIII of France in Coronation Robes Coat of Arms of the Bourbon Restoration (1815-30) Louis XVIII the Desired 7 July 1815 16 September 1824  • Grandson of Louis XV  • Younger Brother of Louis XVI King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)
Charles X Roi de France et de Navarre Coat of Arms of the Bourbon Restoration (1815-30) Charles X 16 September 1824 2 August 1830  • Grandson of Louis XV  • Younger Brother of Louis XVI and Louis XVIII King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)
Louis antoine d'artois, duc d'angouleme Coat of Arms of the Bourbon Restoration (1815-30) Louis XIX Antoine 2 August 1830 2 August 1830
(20 minutes)
 • Son of Charles X (Disputed) King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)
Henri dArtois by Adeodata Malatesta Coat of Arms of the Bourbon Restoration (1815-30) Henry V
(Henri)
2 August 1830 9 August 1830
(7 days)
 • Grandson of Charles X
 • Nephew of Louis Antoine
(Disputed) King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)

The Bourbon Restoration came to an end with the July Revolution of 1830, which deposed Charles X and replaced him with Louis-Philippe I, a distant cousin with more liberal politics. Charles X's son Louis signed a document renouncing his own right to the throne only after a 20-minute argument with his father; because he was never crowned he is disputed as a genuine king of France.[13] Louis's nephew Henry was likewise considered by some to be Henry V, but the new regime did not recognise his claim and he never ruled.

House of Orléans, July Monarchy (1830–1848)

Under Louis-Philippe, the popular monarchy of France changed the styles and forms of the ancien régime, replacing them with more populist forms like replacing "King of France" with "King of the French").

Portrait Coat of arms Name King from King until Relationship with predecessor(s) Title
1841 portrait painting of Louis Philippe I (King of the French) by Winterhalter Coat of Arms of the July Monarchy (1830-31) Louis-Philippe I the Citizen King 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)

Over the years Louis-Philippe grew more Conservative. When a revolution broke out he fled to Great Britain leaving his grandson Prince Philippe, Count of Paris as King of the French. Two days later the Second French Republic was declared. He was never crowned making him disputed as a genuine monarch.

House of Bonaparte, Second Empire (1852–1870)

The French Second Republic lasted from 1848 to 1852, when its president, Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, was declared Emperor of the French. He took the regnal name of Napoleon III, after his uncle (Napoleon I) and his cousin (Napoleon II, who was declared but uncrowned as heir to the Imperial throne).

Napoleon III would later be overthrown during the events of the Franco-Prussian War. He was the last monarch to rule France; thereafter, the country was ruled by a succession of republican governments (see French Third Republic).

Portrait Coat of arms Name Emperor from Emperor until Relationship with predecessor(s) Title
Franz Xaver Winterhalter Napoleon III Coat of Arms Second French Empire (1852–1870)-2 Napoleon III
(Napoléon)
2 December 1852 4 September 1870  • Nephew of Napoleon I Emperor of the French
(Empereur des Français)

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

  1. ^ 'Louis XII, 1499 [...] LVDOVIVS XII FRANCORUM REX MEDILANI DUX [...] Francis I, 1515 [...] FRANCISCUS REX FRANCORUM PRIMUS DOMINATOR ELVETIORUM [...] Henri II, 1550? [...] HENRICVS II FRANCORVM REX' [4]
  2. ^ From 22 June to 7 July 1815, Bonapartists considered Napoleon II as the legitimate heir to the throne, his father having abdicated in his favor. However, throughout this period he resided in Austria, with his mother. Louis XVIII was reinstalled as king on 7 July.

References

Citations

  1. ^ Sullivan, William. Historical causes and effects, from the fall of the Roman empire, 476, to the reformation, 1517. p. 213. Grimshaw, William. The history of France from the foundation of the monarchy to the death of Louis XVI. p. 11
  2. ^ Claudio Rendina & Paul McCusker, The Popes: Histories and Secrets, (New York : 2002), p. 145.
  3. ^ Deploige, Jeroen; Deneckere, Gita, eds. (2006). Mystifying the Monarch: Studies on Discourse, Power, and History. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Amsterdam University Press. p. 182. ISBN 9789053567678.
  4. ^ Potter, David (2008). Renaissance France at War: Armies, Culture and Society, C.1480–1560. Warfare in History Series. 28. Boydell & Brewer Ltd. p. viii. ISBN 9781843834052. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
  5. ^ Deploige, Jeroen; Deneckere, Gita, eds. (2006). Mystifying the Monarch: Studies on Discourse, Power, and History. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Amsterdam University Press. p. 182. ISBN 9789053567678.
  6. ^ Le Couronnement de Napoléon Premier, Empereur des Français. Paris, France: Guerin. 1806. p. 1.
  7. ^ Pascal, Adrien (1853). Histoire de Napoléon III, Empereur des Français. Paris, France: Barbier. p. 359.
  8. ^ Brown, Peter (2003). The Rise of Western Christendom. Malden, MA, USA: Blackwell Publishing Ltd. p. 137.
  9. ^ Babcock, Philip (1993). Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged. MA, USA: Merriam-Webster. p. 341.
  10. ^ Gwatking, H. M.; Whitney, J. P.; et al. (1930). Cambridge Medieval History: Germany and the Western Empire. Volume III. London: Cambridge University Press.
  11. ^ Parisse, Michael (2005). "Lotharingia". In Reuter, T. (ed.). The New Cambridge Medieval History: c. 900–c. 1024. III. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 313–315.
  12. ^ Knecht, Robert (2004). The Valois: Kings of France 1328–1422. NY, USA: Hambledon Continuum. pp. ix–xii. ISBN 1852854200.
  13. ^ "Shortest reign of a monarch". guinnessworldrecords.com. Retrieved 12 April 2017.

Sources

  • Hansen, M.H., ed. (1967). Kings, Rulers, and Statesmen. NY, USA: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. pp. 103–107.
Bourbon family tree

This is a simplified family tree of the House of Bourbon. The House of Bourbon is a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty that descended from a younger son of King Louis IX of France. Louis IX's grandson was the first duke of Bourbon, whose descendants would later become Kings of France in accordance to the Salic law. In the present day, family representatives are the King of Spain and the Grand Duke of Luxembourg. Several others are pretenders to the thrones of France, Two Sicilies, and Brazil.

Count of Paris

Count of Paris (French: Comte de Paris) was a title for the local magnate of the district around Paris in Carolingian times. After Hugh Capet was elected King of France in 987, the title merged into the crown and fell into disuse. However, it was later revived by the Orléanist pretenders to the French throne in an attempt to evoke the legacy of Capet and his dynasty.

Emperor of the French

Emperor of the French (French: Empereur des Français) was the monarch of the First French Empire and the Second French Empire.

Francia

Francia, also called the Kingdom of the Franks (Latin: Regnum Francorum), or Frankish Empire was the largest post-Roman barbarian kingdom in Western Europe. It was ruled by the Franks during Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. It is the predecessor of the modern states of France and Germany. After the Treaty of Verdun in 843, West Francia became the predecessor of France, and East Francia became that of Germany. Francia was among the last surviving Germanic kingdoms from the Migration Period era before its partition in 843.

The core Frankish territories inside the former Western Roman Empire were close to the Rhine and Maas rivers in the north. After a period where small kingdoms inter-acted with the remaining Gallo-Roman institutions to their south, a single kingdom uniting them was founded by Clovis I who was crowned King of the Franks in 496. His dynasty, the Merovingian dynasty, was eventually replaced by the Carolingian dynasty. Under the nearly continuous campaigns of Pepin of Herstal, Charles Martel, Pepin the Short, Charlemagne, and Louis the Pious—father, son, grandson, great-grandson and great-great-grandson—the greatest expansion of the Frankish empire was secured by the early 9th century, by this point dubbed as the Carolingian Empire.

During the Merovingian and Carolingian dynasties the Frankish realm was one large kingdom polity subdivided into several smaller kingdoms, often effectively independent. The geography and number of subkingdoms varied over time, but a basic split between eastern and western domains persisted. The eastern kingdom was initially called Austrasia, centred on the Rhine and Meuse, and expanding eastwards into central Europe. It evolved into a German kingdom, the Holy Roman Empire. The western kingdom Neustria was founded in Northern Roman Gaul, and as the original kingdom of the Merovingians it came over time to be referred to as Francia, now France, although in other contexts western Europe generally could still be described as "Frankish". In Germany there are prominent other places named after the Franks such as the region of Franconia, the city of Frankfurt, and Frankenstein Castle.

French Head of State

French Head of State was a transitional title for the head of the French government from August 1840 to February 1848. The title was held by Louis-Philippe of France, who was King of France. Following the establishment of the Second French Republic, this title was passed onto the President of the French Republic or also known as the Chairman of the Provisional Government of the French Republic.

A list of this title:

Louis-Philippe of France: 1830–February 1848 as Head of State and King of France

Jacques-Charles Dupont de l'Eure: February–May 1848 as chairman of the Provisional Government of the French Republic

Executive Commissioners

Alexandre Auguste Ledru-Rollin: May–June 1848

Alphonse de Lamartine: May–June 1848

François Arago: May–June 1848

Louis-Antoine Garnier-Pagès: May–June 1848

Pierre Marie (de Saint-Georges): May–June 1848

Louis Eugène Cavaignac: June–December 1848 as president of the Council of Ministers

Napoleon III of France: December 1848 – 1870 as first formal President of the French Republic, later Emperor of the French.

Louis Jules Trochu: 1870–1871 as chairman of the Government of National Defense

Adolphe Thiers: 1871 as chairman of the Government of National DefenseThis generic title is somewhat similar to the Chief of the French State title held by Philippe Pétain from 1940 to 1944.

French monarchs family tree

Below are the family trees of all French monarchs, from Childeric I to Louis Philippe I.

For a more simplified view, see French monarchs family tree (simple)

French monarchs family tree (simple)

This is a simplified family tree of all Frankish and French monarchs, from Chlodio to Napoleon III.

Henri, Count of Paris (1933–2019)

Henri, Count of Paris, Duke of France (Prince Henri Philippe Pierre Marie d'Orléans; 14 June 1933 – 21 January 2019), was the Orléanist pretender to the defunct French throne as Henry VII.

He was head of the House of Orléans as senior in male-line descent from Louis-Philippe I d'Orléans, who reigned as King of the French from 1830 to 1848. Henri was a retired military officer as well as an author and painter.

History of France

The first written records for the history of France appeared in the Iron Age. What is now France made up the bulk of the region known to the Romans as Gaul. Roman writers noted the presence of three main ethno-linguistic groups in the area: the Gauls, the Aquitani, and the Belgae. The Gauls, the largest and best attested group, were Celtic people speaking what is known as the Gaulish language.

Over the course of the 1st millennium BC the Greeks, Romans and Carthaginians established colonies on the Mediterranean coast and the offshore islands. The Roman Republic annexed southern Gaul as the province of Gallia Narbonensis in the late 2nd century BC, and Roman forces under Julius Caesar conquered the rest of Gaul in the Gallic Wars of 58–51 BC. Afterwards a Gallo-Roman culture emerged and Gaul was increasingly integrated into the Roman Empire.

In the later stages of the Roman Empire, Gaul was subject to barbarian raids and migration, most importantly by the Germanic Franks. The Frankish king Clovis I united most of Gaul under his rule in the late 5th century, setting the stage for Frankish dominance in the region for hundreds of years. Frankish power reached its fullest extent under Charlemagne. The medieval Kingdom of France emerged from the western part of Charlemagne's Carolingian Empire, known as West Francia, and achieved increasing prominence under the rule of the House of Capet, founded by Hugh Capet in 987.

A succession crisis following the death of the last direct Capetian monarch in 1328 led to the series of conflicts known as the Hundred Years' War between the House of Valois and the House of Plantagenet. The war formally began in 1337 following Philip VI's attempt to seize the Duchy of Aquitaine from its hereditary holder, Edward III of England, the Plantagenet claimant to the French throne. Despite early Plantagenet victories, including the capture and ransom of John II of France, fortunes turned in favor of the Valois later in the war. Among the notable figures of the war was Joan of Arc, a French peasant girl who led French forces against the English, establishing herself as a national heroine. The war ended with a Valois victory in 1453.

Victory in the Hundred Years' War had the effect of strengthening French nationalism and vastly increasing the power and reach of the French monarchy. During the period known as the Ancien Régime, France transformed into a centralized absolute monarchy. During the next centuries, France experienced the Renaissance and the Protestant Reformation. At the height of the French Wars of Religion, France became embroiled in another succession crisis, as the last Valois king, Henry III, fought against rival factions the House of Bourbon and the House of Guise. Henry, King of Navarre, scion of the Bourbon family, would be victorious in the conflict and establish the French Bourbon dynasty. A burgeoning worldwide colonial empire was established in the 16th century. French political power reached a zenith under the rule of Louis XIV, "The Sun King", builder of Versailles Palace.

In the late 18th century the monarchy and associated institutions were overthrown in the French Revolution. The country was governed for a period as a Republic, until the French Empire was declared by Napoleon Bonaparte. Following Napoleon's defeat in the Napoleonic Wars, France went through several further regime changes, being ruled as a monarchy, then briefly as a Second Republic, and then as a Second Empire, until a more lasting French Third Republic was established in 1870.

France was one of the Triple Entente powers in World War I, fighting alongside the United Kingdom, Russia, Italy, Japan, the United States and smaller allies against Germany and the Central Powers.

France was one of the Allied Powers in World War II, but was conquered by Nazi Germany in 1940. The Third Republic was dismantled, and most of the country was controlled directly by Germany while the south was controlled until 1942 by the collaborationist Vichy government. Living conditions were harsh as Germany drained away food and manpower, and many Jews were killed. Charles de Gaulle led the Free France movement that one-by-one took over the colonial empire, and coordinated the wartime Resistance. Following liberation in summer 1944, a Fourth Republic was established. France slowly recovered economically, and enjoyed a baby boom that reversed its very low fertility rate. Long wars in Indochina and Algeria drained French resources and ended in political defeat. In the wake of the Algerian Crisis of 1958, Charles de Gaulle set up the French Fifth Republic. Into the 1960s decolonization saw most of the French colonial empire become independent, while smaller parts were incorporated into the French state as overseas departments and collectivities. Since World War II France has been a permanent member in the UN Security Council and NATO. It played a central role in the unification process after 1945 that led to the European Union. Despite slow economic growth in recent years, it remains a strong economic, cultural, military and political factor in the 21st century.

House of Capet

The House of Capet or the Direct Capetians and (French: Capétiens directs Maison capétienne), also called the House of France (la maison de France), or simply the Capets, ruled the Kingdom of France from 987 to 1328. It was the most senior line of the Capetian dynasty – itself a derivative dynasty from the Robertians. Historians in the 19th century came to apply the name "Capetian" to both the ruling house of France and to the wider-spread male-line descendants of Hugh Capet (c. 939 – 996). Contemporaries did not use the name "Capetian" (see House of France). The Capets were sometimes called "the third race of kings" (following the Merovingians and the Carolingians). The name "Capet" derives from the nickname (of uncertain meaning) given to Hugh, the first Capetian King, who became known as Hugh Capet.The direct line of the House of Capet came to an end in 1328, when the three sons of Philip IV (reigned 1285-1314) all failed to produce surviving male heirs to the French throne. With the death of Charles IV (reigned 1322-1328), the throne passed to the House of Valois, descended from a younger brother of Philip IV. Royal power would later pass (1589) to another Capetian branch, the House of Bourbon, descended from the youngest son of Louis IX (reigned 1226-1270), and (from 1830) to a Bourbon cadet branch, the House of Orléans, always remaining in the hands of agnatic descendants of Hugh Capet.

Kingdom of France

The Kingdom of France (French: Royaume de France) was a medieval and early modern monarchy in Western Europe. It was one of the most powerful states in Europe and a great power since the Late Middle Ages and the Hundred Years' War. It was also an early colonial power, with possessions around the world.

France originated as West Francia (Francia Occidentalis), the western half of the Carolingian Empire, with the Treaty of Verdun (843). A branch of the Carolingian dynasty continued to rule until 987, when Hugh Capet was elected king and founded the Capetian dynasty. The territory remained known as Francia and its ruler as rex Francorum ("king of the Franks") well into the High Middle Ages. The first king calling himself Roi de France ("King of France") was Philip II, in 1190. France continued to be ruled by the Capetians and their cadet lines—the Valois and Bourbon—until the monarchy was overthrown in 1792 during the French Revolution.

France in the Middle Ages was a de-centralised, feudal monarchy. In Brittany and Catalonia (now a part of Spain) the authority of the French king was barely felt. Lorraine and Provence were states of the Holy Roman Empire and not yet a part of France. Initially, West Frankish kings were elected by the secular and ecclesiastic magnates, but the regular coronation of the eldest son of the reigning king during his father's lifetime established the principle of male primogeniture, which became codified in the Salic law. During the Late Middle Ages, the Kings of England laid claim to the French throne, resulting in a series of conflicts known as the Hundred Years' War (1337–1453). Subsequently, France sought to extend its influence into Italy, but was defeated by Spain in the ensuing Italian Wars (1494–1559).

France in the early modern era was increasingly centralised; the French language began to displace other languages from official use, and the monarch expanded his absolute power, albeit in an administrative system (the Ancien Régime) complicated by historic and regional irregularities in taxation, legal, judicial, and ecclesiastic divisions, and local prerogatives. Religiously France became divided between the Catholic majority and a Protestant minority, the Huguenots, which led to a series of civil wars, the Wars of Religion (1562–1598). France laid claim to large stretches of North America, known collectively as New France. Wars with Great Britain led to the loss of much of this territory by 1763. French intervention in the American Revolutionary War helped secure the independence of the new United States of America but was costly and achieved little for France.

The Kingdom of France adopted a written constitution in 1791, but the Kingdom was abolished a year later and replaced with the First French Republic. The monarchy was restored by the other great powers in 1814 and lasted (except for the Hundred Days in 1815) until the French Revolution of 1848.

List of Frankish kings

The Franks were originally led by dukes (military leaders) and reguli (petty kings). The Salian Merovingians rose to dominance among the Franks and conquered most of Roman Gaul. They also conquered the Gaulish territory of the Visigothic Kingdom in 507. The sons of Clovis conquered the Burgundians and Alamanni. They acquired Provence and made the Bavarii and Thuringii their clients. The Merovingians were later replaced by a new dynasty called the Carolingians in the 8th century. By the end of the 9th century, the Carolingians themselves were replaced throughout much of their realm by other dynasties. The idea of a "King of the Franks" or Rex Francorum gradually disappeared over the 11th and 12th centuries, replaced by the title King of France, which represented a shift in thinking about the monarchy from that of a Popular monarchy (the leader of a people, sometimes without a defined territory to rule) to that of a monarchy tied to a specific territory.

A timeline of Frankish rulers is difficult since the realm was, according to old Germanic practice, frequently divided among the sons of a leader upon his death and then eventually reunited through marriage, treaty, or conquest. Thus, there were often multiple Frankish kings ruling different territories, and divisions of those territories was inconsistent over time. As inheritance traditions changed, the divisions of Francia (a modern historiographical term used to denote the lands of the Franks) became more-or-less permanent kingdoms, West Francia formed the nucleus of what later became the Kingdom of France, East Francia evolved into the Kingdom of Germany, while Middle Francia became the short-lived Kingdom of Lotharingia, which was soon divided up between its neighbors. By the time of the Capetian dynasty, the Frankish rulers became Kings of France, a title formalized when Philip II of France altered the prior form in 1190. In the east, Germany passed from Frankish control in 911 with the election of Conrad I as king.

List of French consorts

This is a list of the women who have been queens consort or empresses consort of the French monarchy. All monarchs of France were male, although some women have governed France as regents.

53 women were married to French monarchs: 49 queens and three empresses. Ingeborg of Denmark and Anne of Brittany were each queen more than once. Marie Josephine Louise of Savoy was queen de jure during the Republican and Imperial periods, but never wife of the de facto head of the French state.

From 1285 to 1328, the crowns of Navarre and France were united by virtue of the marriage of Joan I of Navarre to Philip IV of France, and by the succession of their three sons, Louis X, Philip V, and Charles IV. Thus, the wives of these three kings were queens consort of Navarre as well as of France. With the death of Charles IV, however, Navarre passed out of the hands of the French kings until 1589, when Henry III of Navarre became Henry IV of France.

Upon Henry IV's succession, his wife, Margaret of Valois, who was already queen consort of Navarre, also became queen consort of France. Thereafter, until 1791, queens of France were also queens of Navarre. The crown of Navarre merged with the French crown in 1620, but the French kings continued to call themselves King of Navarre until 1791. The title of King of Navarre was reassumed with the Restoration of 1814–15, but dropped with the Revolution of 1830; the Bonaparte and Orléans consorts did not use it.

Lists of emperors

This is a list including all rulers who had carried the title of emperor through history.

Louis XIV of France

Louis XIV (Louis Dieudonné; 5 September 1638 – 1 September 1715), known as Louis the Great (Louis le Grand) or the Sun King (Roi Soleil), was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who reigned as King of France from 1643 until his death in 1715. Starting on 14 May 1643 when Louis was 4 years old, his reign of 72 years and 110 days is the longest recorded of any monarch of a sovereign country in European history. In the age of absolutism in Europe, Louis XIV's France was a leader in the growing centralisation of power.Louis began his personal rule of France in 1661, after the death of his chief minister, the Italian Cardinal Mazarin. An adherent of the concept of the divine right of kings, Louis continued his predecessors' work of creating a centralised state governed from the capital. He sought to eliminate the remnants of feudalism persisting in parts of France and, by compelling many members of the nobility to inhabit his lavish Palace of Versailles, succeeded in pacifying the aristocracy, many members of which had participated in the Fronde rebellion during Louis' minority. By these means he became one of the most powerful French monarchs and consolidated a system of absolute monarchical rule in France that endured until the French Revolution.

Louis encouraged and benefited from the work of prominent political, military, and cultural figures such as Mazarin, Colbert, Louvois, the Grand Condé, Turenne, Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, André Charles Boulle, Molière, Racine, Boileau, La Fontaine, Lully, Marais, Le Brun, Rigaud, Bossuet, Le Vau, Mansart, Charles, Claude Perrault, and Le Nôtre. Under his rule, the Edict of Nantes, which granted rights to Huguenots, was abolished. The revocation effectively forced Huguenots to emigrate or convert in a wave of dragonnades, which managed to virtually destroy the French Protestant minority.

During Louis' long reign, France was the leading European power, and it fought three major wars: the Franco-Dutch War, the War of the League of Augsburg, and the War of the Spanish Succession. There were also two lesser conflicts: the War of Devolution and the War of the Reunions. Warfare defined the foreign policy of Louis XIV, and his personality shaped his approach. Impelled "by a mix of commerce, revenge, and pique", Louis sensed that warfare was the ideal way to enhance his glory. In peacetime he concentrated on preparing for the next war. He taught his diplomats that their job was to create tactical and strategic advantages for the French military.

Louis XV of France

Louis XV (15 February 1710 – 10 May 1774), known as Louis the Beloved (French: le Bien-Aimé), was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who ruled as King of France from 1 September 1715 until his death in 1774. He succeeded his great-grandfather Louis XIV at the age of five. Until he reached maturity (then defined as his 13th birthday) on 15 February 1723, the kingdom was ruled by Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, as Regent of France.

Cardinal Fleury was his chief minister from 1726 until the Cardinal's death in 1743, at which time the young king took sole control of the kingdom.

His reign of almost 59 years (from 1715 to 1774) was the second longest in the history of France, exceeded only by his predecessor and great-grandfather, Louis XIV, who had ruled for 72 years (from 1643 to 1715). In 1748, Louis returned the Austrian Netherlands, won at the Battle of Fontenoy of 1745. He ceded New France in North America to Spain and Great Britain at the conclusion of the disastrous Seven Years' War in 1763. He incorporated the territories of the Duchy of Lorraine and the Corsican Republic into the Kingdom of France. He was succeeded in 1774 by his grandson Louis XVI, who was executed by guillotine during the French Revolution. Two of his other grandsons, Louis XVIII and Charles X, occupied the throne of France after the fall of Napoleon I. Historians generally give his reign very low marks, especially as wars drained the treasury and set the stage for the governmental collapse and French Revolution in the 1780s.

Siege of Paris (1590)

The Siege of Paris took place in 1590 during the French Wars of Religion when the French Royal Army under Henry of Navarre, and supported by the Huguenots, failed to capture the city of Paris from the Catholic League. Paris was finally relieved from the siege by the Spanish army under the command of Alexander Farnese, Duke of Parma.

Union of Brittany and France

The union of Brittany and France was a critical step in the formation of modern-day France. Brittany had been a semi-independent component of the Kingdom of France since Clovis I was given authority over the Gallo-Roman domain during the 5th century. It was first recorded as a "duchy" during the rule of Nominoe in 846. Over the centuries, the fealty demonstrated by the Duchy of Brittany toward the French king depended significantly on the individuals holding the two titles, as well as the involvement of the English monarchy at that particular time. The reign of Francis II, Duke of Brittany, was at an especially crucial time, as the nobles struggled to maintain their autonomy against the increasing central authority desired by Louis XI of France. As a result of several wars, treaties, and papal decisions, Brittany was united with France through the eventual marriage of Louis XI's son Charles VIII to the heiress of Brittany, Anne in 1491. However, because of the different systems of inheritance between the two realms, the crown and the duchy were not held by the same hereditary claimant until the reign of Henry II, beginning 1547.

Merovingians (486–751)
Carolingians,
Robertians and Bosonids (751–987)
House of Capet (987–1328)
House of Valois (1328–1589)
House of Lancaster (1422–1453)
House of Bourbon (1589–1792)
First Republic (1792–1804)
First Empire (1804–1815)
Bourbon Restoration (1815–1830)
July Monarchy (1830–1848)
Second Republic (1848–1852)
Second Empire (1852–1870)
Government of National Defense (1870–1871)
Third Republic (1871–1940)
Vichy France (1940–1944)
Provisional Government (1944–1947)
Fourth Republic (1947–1958)
Fifth Republic (1958–present)

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