List of French monarchs

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The monarchs of France ruled, first as kings and later as emperors, from the Middle Ages to 1848. There is some disagreement as to when France came into existence. The earliest date would be the establishment of the Merovingian Frankish kingdom by Clovis I in 486 with the defeat of Syagrius, the last Roman official in Gaul. That kingdom's rulers were deposed in the 8th century. The Treaty of Verdun established the Kingdom of Western Francia in 843. Another date favored by many medieval historians is 987, the beginning of the Capetian Dynasty.

However, the relevance of such traditional outlooks on the origins of modern nations is historically dubious (see below for recent studies). In light of these recent trends, this list begins with Charles the Bald and the Kingdom of Western Francia, originating in 843, the state which would directly evolve into modern France. For earlier Frankish monarchs, see List of Frankish Kings.

In addition to the monarchs listed below, the Kings of England and Great Britain from 1422 to 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. After the death of the two, Henry VI, succeeded his grandfather 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 monarchs continued to claim the title until the creation of the United Kingdom in 1801. Various English kings between 1337 and 1422 had also claimed the title of King of France, but only intermittently.

The title "King of the Franks" (Latin: Rex Francorum) remained in use until the reign of Philip IV. During the brief period when the French Constitution of 1791 was in effect (1791-1792) 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 people, not to the territory of France.


[edit] Frankish Predecessors: the Merovingian and Carolingian Dynasties (c. 410 to 843)

The name of France comes from the Germanic tribe known as the Franks. The Merovingian kings began as mere chieftains, the oldest known being Pharamond. Clovis I was the first of these to rise to true kingship. After his death, his kingdom was split between his sons into Soissons (Neustria), Paris, Orleans (Burgundy), and Metz (Austrasia). Various other kingdoms would continue to break apart and be formed as the various Merovingian kings warred with each other.

The Carolingians overpowered the Merovingian kings. First they became their majordomos (mayors of the palace) in Austrasia. Eventually, they united the entire Frankish kingdom for the first time since Clovis. With Mayor Pippin the Younger, the Merovingians were completely phased out. The Carolingian Dynasty would be the first true French monarchy. The great and extended kingdom of Pippin's son, the legendary Charlemagne, was split by Louis I (Louis the Pious). In 843, while Louis's son Lothair was in power, the great Frankish kingdom was split. The Eastern Kingdom became Germany, the Middle Kingdom became Lotharingia and later part of the Holy Roman Empire, and the Western Kingdom became France. Charles the Bald was the first ruler of the independent West Franks (France.)

List of Frankish Kings

[edit] Carolingian Dynasty (843 to 987)

Picture Name King From King Until
Image:Ch1.gifCharles the Bald843October 6, 877
Image:Autograph of Charlemagne.gifLouis IIOctober 6, 877April 10, 879
Image:King Louis III.gifLouis IIIApril 10, 879August 5, 882
Image:Autograph of Charlemagne.gifCarlomanApril 10, 879December 6, 884
Image:Charles the Fat.jpgCharles the Fat885January 13, 888
Image:Autograph of Charlemagne.gifOdoFebruary 29, 888January 1, 898
Image:Charles III le Simple.jpgCharles the SimpleJanuary 1, 898June 30, 922
Image:Autograph of Charlemagne.gifRobert IJune 30, 922June 15, 923
Image:Raoul Ier.jpgRudolphJuly 13, 923January 14, 936
Image:Louis IV d'Outremer.jpgLouis IVJune 19, 936September 10, 954
Image:Lothaire.jpgLothairNovember 12, 954March 2, 986
Image:Autograph of Charlemagne.gifLouis VJune 8, 986May 22, 987

[edit] Capetian Dynasty (987 to 1328)

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.

Picture Name King From King Until
Image:Hugues capet.jpgHugh CapetJuly 3, 987October 24, 996
Image:Robert II of France.jpgRobert IIOctober 24, 996July 20, 1031
Image:Henri I.jpgHenry IJuly 20, 1031August 4, 1060
Image:Philippe Ier.jpgPhilip IAugust 4, 1060July 29, 1108
Image:Louis VI le Gros.jpgLouis VIJuly 29, 1108August 1, 1137
Image:Louis VII le Jeune.jpgLouis VIIAugust 1, 1137September 18, 1180
Image:Philippe II Auguste.jpgPhilip II AugustusSeptember 18, 1180July 14, 1223
Image:Louis VIII le Lion.jpgLouis VIIIJuly 14, 1223November 8, 1226
Image:Louis-ix.jpgLouis IX (Saint Louis)November 8, 1226August 25, 1270
Image:Miniature Philippe III Courronement.jpgPhilip IIIAugust 25, 1270October 5, 1285
Image:Philippe IV Le Bel.jpgPhilip IV "The Fair"October 5, 1285November 29, 1314
Image:Louis X le Hutin.jpgLouis XNovember 29, 1314June 5, 1316
Image:Jean Ier le Posthume.jpgJohn INovember 15, 1316November 20, 1316
Image:Philippe V le Long.jpgPhilip VNovember 20, 1316January 3, 1322
Image:Charles IV le Bel.jpgCharles IVJanuary 3, 1322February 1, 1328

[edit] Capetian Dynasty, House of Valois (1328-1589)

[edit] (1328-1498)

Picture Name King From King Until
Image:Philippe VI de Valois.jpgPhilip VIFebruary 1, 1328August 22, 1350
Image:JeanIIdFrance.jpgJohn IIAugust 22, 1350April 8, 1364
Image:Roy Charles V.jpgCharles VApril 8, 1364September 16, 1380
Image:Charles VI le Fou.jpgCharles VISeptember 16, 1380October 21, 1422
Image:Chas vii.jpgCharles VIIOctober 21, 1422July 22, 1461
Image:Louis XI.jpgLouis XI "The Prudent", "The Spider King"July 22, 1461August 30, 1483
Image:Charles VIII de france.jpgCharles VIIIAugust 30, 1483April 7, 1498

[edit] Valois-Orléans Branch (1498-1515)

Picture Name King From King Until
Image:Louis XII de france.jpgLouis XIIApril 7, 1498January 1, 1515

[edit] Valois-Angoulême Branch (1515-1589)

Picture Name King From King Until
Image:Francis1-1.jpgFrancis IJanuary 1, 1515July 31, 1547
Image:Henri2-1.jpgHenry IIJuly 31, 1547July 10, 1559
Image:Francis2-1.jpgFrancis IIJuly 10, 1559December 5, 1560
Image:CharlesIX.jpgCharles IXDecember 5, 1560May 30, 1574
Image:Henri3France.jpgHenry IIIMay 30, 1574August 2, 1589

[edit] Capetian Dynasty, House of Bourbon (1589-1792)

Picture Name King From King Until
Image:Henry IV of france by pourbous younger.jpgHenry IVAugust 2, 1589May 14, 1610
Image:Louis XIIIval grace.jpgLouis XIIIMay 14, 1610May 14, 1643
Image:Louis XIV of France.jpgLouis XIVMay 14, 1643September 1, 1715
Image:Koning Louis XV; Hyacinthe Rigaud.jpgLouis XVSeptember 1, 1715May 10, 1774
Image:Ludvig XVI av Frankrike porträtterad av AF Callet.jpgLouis XVIMay 10, 1774August 10, 1792
Image:Louis Charles of France6.jpgLouis XVIIJanuary 21, 1793June 8, 1795

[edit] First Republic (1792-1804)

Many people were monarchists at the time and consequently refused to recognise the overthrow of the monarchy, and considered Louis XVI's reign to have continued until his death in 1793, then his son Louis XVII to have reigned until his death in 1795, with Louis XVIII's reign then commencing, hence the numbering.

[edit] Bonaparte Dynasty - First Empire (1804-1814)

Picture Name Emperor From Emperor Until
Image:Ingres, Napoleon on his Imperial throne.jpgNapoleon IMay 18, 1804April 11, 1814

[edit] Bourbon Dynasty, Restored (1814)

Picture Name King From King Until
Image:Louisxviii.jpgLouis XVIIIMay 2, 1814March 13, 1815

[edit] Bonaparte Dynasty - First Empire, Restored (The Hundred Days, 1815)

Picture Name Emperor From Emperor Until
Image:Ingres, Napoleon on his Imperial throne.jpgNapoleon IMarch 20, 1815June 22, 1815
Image:Nap-receis 50.jpgNapoleon IIJune 22 1815July 7, 1815

[edit] Bourbon Dynasty, Restored (1815-1830)

Picture Name King From King Until
Image:Louisxviii.jpgLouis XVIIIJuly 7, 1815September 16, 1824
Image:Charles 1757 1836.gifCharles XSeptember 16, 1824August 2, 1830
Image:Louis antoine artois.jpg(Louis XIX)August 2, 1830August 2, 1830

[edit] Bourbon-Orléans, The Monarchy of July (1830-1848)

Picture Name King From King Until
Image:Louis-Philippe de Bourbon.jpgLouis-Philippe, The Citizen KingAugust 9, 1830February 24, 1848

[edit] Second French Republic (1848 - 1852)

The Second French Republic lasted from 1848 to 1852, when its president, Louis Napoleon, was declared Emperor.

[edit] Bonaparte Dynasty, Restored Second Empire (1852-1870)

Picture Name Emperor From Emperor Until
Image:NapoleonIIIofFrance.jpg Napoleon III, Emperor (previously president of France from 1848 - 1852)December 2, 1852September 4, 1870

[edit] Later pretenders

The chronology of Head of State of France continues with the Presidents of France. 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:

[edit] References

<references/> For a study of France and its rulers, see also:

[edit] See also

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List of French monarchs

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