List of French monarchs

Monarchy of France
Details
Style See article
First monarch Clovis I
(as King)
Last monarch Napoleon III
(as Emperor)
Formation 509
Abolition 4 September 1870
Residence Palais de la Cité
Louvre Palace
Palace of Versailles
Tuileries Palace
Appointer Hereditary
Pretender(s) Disputed:
Louis Alphonse
(House of Bourbon)
Henri d'Orléans
(House of Orléans)
Jean-Christophe
(House of Bonaparte)

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. 11801223). 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.

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 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.
Theuderic I
(Thierry)
511 533 or 534 Died aged 48.   Eldest son of Clovis I King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
at Reims
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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).
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.
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
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.
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)
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)
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)
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
(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 691 695 Died aged 13.   Son of Theuderic III King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Childebert III the Just 695 23 April 711 Died aged 28. 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)
Dagobert III 23 April 711 715 Died aged 14.   Son of Childebert III King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
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 721 737 Died aged 25.   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.
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
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
Carloman I 24 September 768 4 December 771   Son of Pepin King of the Franks
Charles I the Great
Charlemagne
24 September 768 28 January 814   Son of Pepin King of the Franks
Emperor of the Romans
Louis I the Pious 28 January 814 20 June 840   Son of Charlemagne King of the Franks
Emperor of the Romans
Charles II the Bald 20 June 840 6 October 877   Son of Louis I King of the Franks
Emperor of the Romans (875–77)
Louis II the Stammerer 6 October 877 10 April 879   Son of Charles II King of the Franks
Louis III 10 April 879 5 August 882   Son of Louis II King of the Franks
Carloman II 5 August 882 6 December 884   Son of Louis II King of the Franks
Charles III 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 (881–87)

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 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
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 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
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
Louis IV of Outremer 19 June 936 10 September 954   Son of Charles III the Simple King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Lothair 12 November 954 2 March 986   Son of Louis IV King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
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.

Direct Capetians (987–1328)

The main line of descent from Hugh Capet is generally known as the "direct Capetians". This line became extinct in 1328, precipitating 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.

Portrait Coat of arms Name King from King until Relationship with predecessor(s) Title
Hugh Capet3 July 98724 October 996  Grandson of Robert I King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Robert II the Pious, the Wise24 October 99620 July 1031  Son of Hugh Capet King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Henry I
(Henri)
20 July 10314 August 1060  Son of Robert II King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Philip I the Amorous
(Philippe)
4 August 106029 July 1108  Son of Henry I King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Louis VI the Fat29 July 11081 August 1137  Son of Philip I King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Louis VII the Young1 August 113718 September 1180  Son of Louis VI King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Philip II Augustus
(Philippe Auguste)
18 September 118014 July 1223  Son of Louis VII King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
King of France
(Roi de France)
Louis VIII the Lion14 July 12238 November 1226  Son of Philip II Augustus King of France
(Roi de France)
Louis IX the Saint
(Saint Louis)
8 November 122625 August 1270  Son of Louis VIII King of France
(Roi de France)
Philip III the Bold
(Philippe)
25 August 12705 October 1285  Son of Louis IX King of France
(Roi de France)
Philip IV the Fair, the Iron King
(Philippe)
5 October 128529 November 1314  Son of Philip III King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)
Louis X the Quarreller29 November 13145 June 1316  Son of Philip IV King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)
John I the Posthumous
(Jean)
15 November 131620 November 1316  Son of Louis X King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)
Philip V the Tall
(Philippe)
20 November 13163 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 Fair3 January 13221 February 1328  Son of Philip IV
  Younger brother of Louis X and Philip V
King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)

House of Valois (1328–1589)

The death of the last Direct Capetian precipitated the Hundred Years' War between the House of Valois and the House of Plantagenet 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
Philip VI the Fortunate
(Philippe)
1 April 132822 August 1350  Grandson of Philip III of France King of France
(Roi de France)
John II the Good
(Jean)
22 August 13508 April 1364  Son of Philip VI King of France
(Roi de France)
Charles V the Wise8 April 136416 September 1380  Son of John II King of France
(Roi de France)
Charles VI the Beloved, the Mad16 September 138021 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
Henry VI of England
(Henri VI d'Angleterre)
21 October 142219 October 1453By 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 the Victorious, the Well-Served21 October 142222 July 1461  Son of Charles VI
  Uncle of Henry VI of England
King of France.
(Roi de France)
Louis XI the Prudent, the Cunning, the Universal Spider22 July 146130 August 1483  Son of Charles VII King of France
(Roi de France)
Charles VIII the Affable30 August 14837 April 1498  Son of Louis XI King of France
(Roi de France)
Louis XII Father of the People7 April 14981 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)
Francis I the Father and Restorer of Letters
(François)
1 January 151531 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)
31 March 154710 July 1559  Son of Francis I/Maternal grandson of Louis XII King of France
(Roi de France)
Francis II
(François)
10 July 15595 December 1560  Son of Henry II King of France
(Roi de France)

King of Scots
(1558–1560)
Charles IX5 December 156030 May 1574  Son of Henry II King of France
(Roi de France)
Henry III
(Henri)
30 May 15742 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 defense 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
Henry IV the Green Gallant Good King Henry
(Henri)
2 August 158914 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)
Louis XIII the Just14 May 161014 May 1643  Son of Henry IV King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)
Louis XIV the Great the Sun King14 May 16431 September 1715  Son of Louis XIII King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)
Louis XV the Beloved
1 September 171510 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 Liberty10 May 177421 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
(Claimant)
21 January 17938 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, when its First Consul, Napoléon Bonaparte, was declared Emperor of the French.

Portrait Coat of arms Name Emperor from Emperor until Relationship with predecessor(s) Title
Napoleon I the Great
(Napoléon)
18 May 180411 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 favor 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
Louis XVIII the Desired11 April 181420 March 1815  Grandson of Louis XV   Younger Brother of Louis XVI   Brother-in-law of Napoleon I's wife's great-aunt. 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 the Great
(Napoléon)
20 March 181522 June 1815 Founder of the Bonaparte dynasty Emperor of the French
(Empereur des Français)
Napoleon II the Eaglet
(Napoléon)
[n 2]
22 June 18157 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
Louis XVIII the Desired7 July 181516 September 1824  Grandson of Louis XV   Younger Brother of Louis XVI King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)
Charles X16 September 18242 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 XIX Antoine2 August 18302 August 1830
(20 minutes)
  Son of Charles X (Disputed) King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)
Henry V
(Henri)
2 August 18309 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)

House of Orléans, July Monarchy (1830–1848)

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. The popular monarchy changed the styles and forms of the ancien régime, replacing them with more populist forms (i.e. replacing "King of France" with "King of the French"). Ultimately, it was overthrown as well during the continent-wide Revolutions of 1848, to be replaced by the French Second Republic.

Portrait Coat of arms Name King from King until Relationship with predecessor(s) Title
Louis-Philippe I the Citizen King9 August 183024 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)

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
Napoleon III
(Napoléon)
2 December 18524 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 2012-11-27.
  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. 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.

Sources

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

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