House of Valois

Last updated

House of Valois
Royal Coat of Arms of Valois France.svg
Arms of the King of France since 1376
Parent house Capetian dynasty
Country France
Founder Charles, Count of Valois
Final ruler Henry III of France
Cadet branches
Part of a series on the
History of France
Insigne modernum Francum.svg Insigne Francum Napoleonis.svg Insigne Francum.svg
Flag of France.svg Franceportal

The House of Valois [lower-alpha 1] ( UK: /ˈvælwɑː/ VAL-wah, also US: /vælˈwɑː, vɑːlˈwɑː/ va(h)l-WAH, [1] [2] French:  [valwa] ) was a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty. They succeeded the House of Capet (or "Direct Capetians") to the French throne, and were the royal house of France from 1328 to 1589. Junior members of the family founded cadet branches in Orléans, Anjou, Burgundy, and Alençon.

British English is the standard dialect of the English language as spoken and written in the United Kingdom. Variations exist in formal, written English in the United Kingdom. For example, the adjective wee is almost exclusively used in parts of Scotland and Ireland, and occasionally Yorkshire, whereas little is predominant elsewhere. Nevertheless, there is a meaningful degree of uniformity in written English within the United Kingdom, and this could be described by the term British English. The forms of spoken English, however, vary considerably more than in most other areas of the world where English is spoken, so a uniform concept of British English is more difficult to apply to the spoken language. According to Tom McArthur in the Oxford Guide to World English, British English shares "all the ambiguities and tensions in the word 'British' and as a result can be used and interpreted in two ways, more broadly or more narrowly, within a range of blurring and ambiguity".

American English Set of dialects of the English language spoken in the United States

American English, sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. American English is globally considered to be one of the most influential dialects in the world; more so than any other dialect of English.


The Valois descended from Charles, Count of Valois (1270–1325), the second surviving son of King Philip III of France (reigned 1270–1285). Their title to the throne was based on a precedent in 1316 (later retroactively attributed to the Merovingian Salic law) which excluded females (Joan II of Navarre), as well as male descendants through the distaff line (Edward III of England), from the succession to the French throne.

Charles, Count of Valois Count of valois

Charles of Valois, the third son of Philip III of France and Isabella of Aragon, was a member of the House of Capet and founder of the House of Valois, whose rule over France would start in 1328.

Philip III of France King of france

Philip III, called the Bold, was King of France from 1270 to 1285.

Merovingian dynasty dynasty

The Merovingian dynasty was the ruling family of the Franks from the middle of the 5th century until 751. They first appear as "Kings of the Franks" in the Roman army of northern Gaul. By 509 they had united all the Franks and northern Gaulish Romans under their rule. They conquered most of Gaul, defeating the Visigoths (507) and the Burgundians (534), and also extended their rule into Raetia (537). In Germania, the Alemanni, Bavarii and Saxons accepted their lordship. The Merovingian realm was the largest and most powerful of the states of western Europe following the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

After holding the throne for several centuries the Valois male line failed and the House of Bourbon succeeded the Valois to the throne as the senior-surviving branch of the Capetian dynasty.

House of Bourbon European royal house of French origin

The House of Bourbon is a European royal house of French origin, a branch of the Capetian dynasty, the royal House of France. Bourbon kings first ruled France and Navarre in the 16th century. By the 18th century, members of the Spanish Bourbon dynasty held thrones in Spain, Naples, Sicily, and Parma. Spain and Luxembourg currently have monarchs of the House of Bourbon.

Unexpected inheritance

The Capetian dynasty seemed secure both during and after the reign of King Philip IV from 1285 to 1313. Philip had left three surviving sons (Louis, Philip and Charles) and a daughter (Isabella). Each son became king in turn, but each died young without male heirs, leaving only daughters who could not inherit the throne. When Charles IV died in 1328 the French succession became more problematic.

The Capetian dynasty, also known as the House of France, is a dynasty of Frankish origin, and a branch of the Robertians. It is among the largest and oldest royal houses in Europe and the world, and consists of Hugh Capet, the founder of the dynasty, and his male-line descendants, who ruled in France without interruption from 987 to 1792, and again from 1814 to 1848. The senior line ruled in France as the House of Capet from the election of Hugh Capet in 987 until the death of Charles IV in 1328. That line was succeeded by cadet branches, the Houses of Valois and then Bourbon, which ruled without interruption until the French Revolution abolished the monarchy in 1792. The Bourbons were restored in 1814 in the aftermath of Napoleon's defeat, but had to vacate the throne again in 1830 in favor of the last Capetian monarch of France, Louis Philippe I, who belonged to the House of Orléans.

Philip IV of France King of France

Philip IV, called Philip the Fair, was King of France from 1285 to 1314. By virtue of his marriage with Joan I of Navarre, he was also King of Navarre as Philip I from 1284 to 1305, as well as Count of Champagne. Although Philip was known as handsome, hence the epithet le Bel, his rigid and inflexible personality gained him other nicknames, such as the Iron King. His fierce opponent Bernard Saisset, bishop of Pamiers, said of him: "he is neither man nor beast. He is a statue."

Louis X of France King of France

Louis X, called the Quarrelsome, the Headstrong, or the Stubborn, was King of France from 1314 to 1316, succeeding his father Philip IV. After the death of his mother, Joan I of Navarre, he was also King of Navarre as Louis I from 1305 until his death in 1316.

In 1328 three candidates had plausible claims to the throne:

  1. Philip, Count of Valois, son of Charles of Valois, who was the closest heir in male line and a grandson of Philip III (r. 1270–1285). Because his father was the brother of the late Philip IV, the Count of Valois was therefore a nephew of Philip IV and the cousin of Louis X, Philip V and Charles IV. Further, Charles IV had chosen him as the regent before his death.
  2. Joan of Navarre, daughter of Louis X. Although Philip V had used his position relative to his niece to take the throne in 1316, Joan nevertheless had a strong claim as the heir-general of Philip IV, and her maternal family had initially supported her claim after the death of Louis X. She ultimately received the Kingdom of Navarre, which could pass to and through females.
  3. Edward III of England, son of Isabella of France, daughter and only surviving child of Philip IV. Edward claimed the French throne as a grandson of Philip IV.

In England, Isabella of France claimed the throne on behalf of her 15-year-old son. Like the French system, the English law of succession did not allow the succession of females, [3] but allowed the succession through the female line (as exemplified by Henry II of England). The French rejected Isabella's claims, arguing that since she herself, as a woman, could not succeed, then she could not transmit any such right to her son. Thus the French magnates chose as their new monarch Philip of Valois, who became Philip VI of France. The throne of Navarre went its separate way, to Joan of France, daughter of Louis X, who became Joan II of Navarre.

Isabella of France Queen consort of England

Isabella of France, sometimes described as the She-Wolf of France, was Queen of England as the wife of Edward II, and regent of England from 1327 until 1330. She was the youngest surviving child and only surviving daughter of Philip IV of France and Joan I of Navarre. Isabella was notable in her lifetime for her diplomatic skills, intelligence, and beauty. She became a "femme fatale" figure in plays and literature over the years, usually portrayed as a beautiful but cruel and manipulative figure.

Henry II of England King of England

Henry II, also known as Henry Curtmantle, Henry FitzEmpress or Henry Plantagenet, ruled as King of England, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, Count of Anjou, Maine, and Nantes; at various times, he also partially controlled Scotland, Wales and the Duchy of Brittany. Before he was 40 he controlled England, large parts of Wales, the eastern half of Ireland and the western half of France—an area that would later come to be called the Angevin Empire.

Because diplomacy and negotiation had failed, Edward III would have to back his claims with force to obtain the French throne. For a few years, England and France maintained an uneasy peace. Eventually, an escalation of conflict between the two kings led to the Philip VI of France confiscating the duchy of Aquitaine (1337). Instead of paying homage to the French king, as his ancestors had done, Edward claimed that he himself was the rightful King of France. These events helped launch the Hundred Years' War (1337-1453) between England and France. Though England ultimately failed to win that prolonged conflict, English and British monarchs until 1801 continued to maintain, at least formally, a claim to the French throne. [4]

Duchy of Aquitaine Medieval duchy in southern France

The Duchy of Aquitaine was a historical fiefdom in western, central and southern areas of present-day France to the south of the Loire River, although its extent, as well as its name, fluctuated greatly over the centuries, at times comprising much of what is now southwestern France (Gascony) and central France.

Hundred Years War Series of conflicts and wars between England and France during the 14th and 15th-century

The Hundred Years' War was a series of conflicts waged from 1337 to 1453 by the House of Plantagenet, rulers of the Kingdom of England, against the French House of Valois, over the right to rule the Kingdom of France. Each side drew many allies into the war. It was one of the most notable conflicts of the Middle Ages, in which five generations of kings from two rival dynasties fought for the throne of the largest kingdom in Western Europe. The war marked both the height of chivalry and its subsequent decline, and the development of strong national identities in both countries.

Hundred Years' War

The Hundred Years' War could be considered a lengthy war of succession between the houses of Valois and Plantagenet. The early reign of Philip VI was a promising one for France. The new king fought the Flemings on behalf of his vassal, the count of Flanders, and restored that count to power. Edward III's aggression against Scotland, a French ally, prompted Philip VI to confiscate Guyenne. In the past the English kings would have to submit to the King of France. But Edward, having descended from the French kings, claimed the throne for himself. France was then at the height of its power. No one believed that the English king could make good his claim to France.

Edward's initial strategy was to ally with Flanders and the princes of the Empire. The alliances were costly and not very productive. While on a truce the French and English kings intervened in the War of the Breton Succession. In 1346, Edward invaded France and pillaged the countryside rather than attempt to hold territory. French forces led by Philip VI confronted Edward III at the Battle of Crécy, which resulted in a devastating and humiliating defeat for the French. Despite this, the most that Edward could make out of his victory was the capture of Calais.

John II succeeded his father Philip VI in 1350. He was menaced by Charles II of Navarre, of the Évreux branch of the Capetian family, who aspired to the French throne by the right of his mother, the senior descendant of Philip IV of France. Charles' character eventually alienated both the French and English monarchs, because he readily switched sides whenever it suited his interest. In 1356, Edward, the Black Prince, eldest son and heir of Edward III, led an army to a chevauchée in France. John pursued the Black Prince, who tried to avoid battling the French king's superior force. Negotiations broke down. In the Battle of Poitiers, the French suffered another humiliating defeat, and their king was captured. Edward hoped to capitalize on the victory by invading France and having himself crowned at Reims. But the new leader, the Dauphin Charles, avoided another pitched battle, and the city of Reims withstood siege. In the Treaty of Brétigny, the English king gained an enlarged Aquitaine in full sovereignty, gave up the duchy of Touraine, the counties of Anjou and Maine, the suzerainty of Brittany and of Flanders, and his claim to the French throne.

Charles V became king in 1364. He supported Henry of Trastámara in the Castilian Civil War, while the Black Prince supported the reigning king, Peter of Castile. The Black Prince won, but Peter refused to pay for his expenses. The Black Prince tried to recover his losses by raising taxes in Aquitaine, which prompted them to appeal to the King of France. War was renewed. The French recovered their territories place after place. When Charles died in 1380, only Calais, Bordeaux and Bayonne were left to the English.

The ancient, great families of the feudal nobility had largely been replaced by an equally powerful class — the princes of the royal blood. With the confiscation of Guyenne, the only remaining non-Capetian peer was the Count of Flanders. The Montfort dukes of Brittany, the houses of Évreux and Bourbon, and the princes of the House of Valois, constituted the great nobility of the kingdom.

Succeeding to the throne at the age of 11, the reign of Charles VI of France was the first minority since that of Saint Louis' in 1226. Power devolved into the hands of his uncles, the dukes of Anjou, Berry and Burgundy. The dukes squandered the resources of the monarchy to pursue their own ends. Anjou pursued his claim in the Kingdom of Naples; Berry governed his large estates in Languedoc; and Burgundy, having married the heiress of Flanders, found it more convenient to rule his vast dominions from Paris. Charles terminated his uncles' regency at the age of 21, even though he would have been entitled to it as early as the age of 14. His early reign was promising, but the onset of madness, which he may have inherited from the Bourbon dukes through his mother, would prove to be disastrous for France. Burgundy, the most powerful of the princes and peers, naturally took power in his hands. But his nephew, Louis I, Duke of Orléans, the king's brother, contested his authority. Rivalry between the two princes and their descendants led to the Armagnac–Burgundian Civil War.

In 1415 Henry V of England, great-grandson of Edward III, invaded France. In the Battle of Agincourt, the Armagnac faction fought the English and were decimated. The dukes of Orléans and Bourbon were captured, and the Burgundian party gained ascendancy in Paris. Henry proceeded to conquer Normandy. The Armagnacs assassinated John the Fearless, duke of Burgundy, a belated revenge for the assassination of Louis I, Duke of Orléans. The new duke, Philip the Good, allied himself with the English. In the Treaty of Troyes, Henry V of England became regent of France and heir to that throne; he also married Catherine of Valois, the French king's daughter. The Dauphin Charles was effectively disinherited. To assume a greater appearance of legality, it was ratified by the Estates General later that year.

To accept the Treaty of Troyes would be a denial of the legitimacy of the Valois. While England was accustomed to change her kings, the French largely adhered to theirs. The treaty was recognized only in English-controlled territories in northern France, and by the allied dukes of Burgundy and Brittany. Henry V died before his sickly father-in-law, Charles VI, leaving the future of the Lancastrian Kingdom of France in the hands of his infant son Henry VI of England, and his brother, John, Duke of Bedford.

The able leadership of Bedford prevented Charles VII from retaking control of northern France. In 1429, Joan of Arc successfully raised the siege of Orléans and had the king crowned at Reims, an important French propaganda victory. Power struggles between Bedford, his brother Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, and their uncle Cardinal Beaufort hampered the English war effort. The Duke of Burgundy, alienated by the blunders of Gloucester, reconciled with the King of France in the Treaty of Arras, 1435. Bedford had died that same year.

The warring parties arranged long truces, during which the French king prepared for the renewal of war, while the English relaxed and took a break from fresh taxes. By 1450, the French had reconquered Normandy, and Guyenne the next year. A final English attempt to recover their losses ended in defeat at the Battle of Castillon, 1453. With this victory, the English had been expelled in all of France except Calais. The Valois succession was upheld and confirmed.

Centralization of power

With the expulsion of the English, Charles VII had reestablished his kingdom as the foremost power of Western Europe. He created France's first standing army since Roman times, and limited papal power in the Gallican Church by the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges. But his later years were marred by quarrels with his eldest son and heir, the Dauphin Louis, who refused to obey him. The dauphin was banished from court for his intrigues, and did not return to France until his father's death.

Louis XI succeeded his father in 1461. At the beginning of his reign Louis reversed his father's policies, abolishing the Pragmatic Sanction to please the pope and the standing armies, which he distrusted, in favor of Swiss mercenaries. As a prince he had leagued with the nobility against his father, but as a king he found that his power could only be maintained by subduing them. He was the lifelong enemy of Charles the Bold, Count of Charolais, and later Duke of Burgundy. In 1465 the League of the Public Weal, an alliance of the feudal princes, which consisted of Charles, Duke of Berry, the king's brother, the Count of Charolais, the Dukes of Brittany, Bourbon, Lorraine (then a member of the House of Anjou), and several others, attempted to restore their feudal prerogatives. Louis feared a further escalation of the conflict against this formidable coalition. To obtain peace he conceded all their demands, including the Duchy of Normandy to his brother, which carried with it one-third of the offices of state.

Louis seldom relied on the fortunes of war, but on intrigue and diplomacy. He maintained his power by paying pensions to well-placed people in the courts of his vassals and in neighboring states. He retook Normandy from his brother at the first opportunity. He bought off Edward IV of England to desist from attacking France. He fomented rebellions in the Burgundian dominions. At the death of Charles the Bold in 1477, he seized the duchy of Burgundy, which he claimed as a reverted fief, even though the original grant did not specify the exclusion of female heirs. But the marriage of Mary of Burgundy, heiress of Charles the Bold, to Maximilian of Austria, would prove problematic for later generations. In 1481, the last male of the House of Anjou died, willing all the Angevin possessions to the king. At the end of his reign royal power had become absolute in France.

Italian Wars

Charles VIII succeeded his father in 1483, at the age of 13. During his minority the nobles again attempted to seize power, but they were defeated by Charles' sister Anne of France. Charles' marriage to Anne of Brittany prevented a future total Habsburg encirclement of France.

As the heir of the House of Anjou, Charles VIII decided to press his claim to the Kingdom of Naples. It was the beginning of the Italian Wars. In September 1494 Charles invaded Italy with 25,000 men, and attained his object by 22 February 1495, virtually unopposed. But the speed and power of the French advance frightened the powers of Italy. The League of Venice, which consisted of the Republics of Venice and Florence, the Duchies of Milan and Mantua, the Kings of Spain and Naples, the Emperor and the Pope, united against the French. Charles, who did not wish to be trapped in Naples, had to fight against them in the Battle of Fornovo. Charles succeeded in returning to France, but all his conquests and booty were lost. The debts he incurred for the campaign prevented him from resuming the war, and he died in an accident in 1498. With his death the senior line of the House of Valois became extinct. He was succeeded by his cousin, the Duke of Orleans, who became Louis XII of France.

Louis XII married his predecessor's widow, Anne of Brittany, in order to retain that province for France. The new king also continued his predecessor's policy in Italy. The Dukes of Orleans were descended from Valentina Visconti, and through her claimed the Duchy of Milan. From 1499 to 1512, excepting a brief period in 1500, Louis XII was Duke of Milan. French military activity continued in Italy, with various leagues formed to counter the dominant power. Louis died without a son, and was succeeded by his cousin and son-in-law, Francis of Angoulême, who became Francis I of France in 1515.

Francis I belonged to a cadet branch of the House of Orleans. In the Battle of Marignano, Francis defeated the Swiss, who had ousted his predecessor from Milan, and took control of the duchy. In the Imperial Election of 1519, the Kings of Spain, France, and England fought for the imperial title. The King of Spain was a grandson of the deceased emperor, but the electors thought him to be a foreigner as much as the French king. The kings resorted to bribes, and the Spanish king became Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.

The election of the Spanish king to the imperial throne made him the first monarch in Europe, both in title and in reality. Annoyed, the French king demanded that the emperor pay homage for Flanders and Artois; the emperor responded by reasserting his claim to the duchy of Burgundy. The rivalry of the French royal house with the Habsburgs dominated the rest of the sixteenth century. The emperor took Milan from the French in 1521. The King of England and the pope supported the emperor. France was surrounded by enemies on all sides. Domestic troubles led to the defection of Charles III, Duke of Bourbon and Constable of France, to the emperor. In 1525, at the Battle of Pavia, the French were defeated and the king himself was captured. Francis obtained his release through the Treaty of Madrid, in which he renounced claims in Naples and Milan, surrendered Burgundy to Spain, abandoned sovereignty over Flanders and Artois, and gave up two of his sons as hostages. Francis repudiated the treaty. Having often found himself alone in his struggle against the emperor, Francis formed the Franco-Ottoman alliance with the sultan, to the scandal of Christian Europe. Francis supported the conversion of the German princes to Protestantism, as it increased his potential allies against the emperor. In his own dominions, the Protestants were suppressed.

Henry II succeeded to the throne in 1547. He continued his father's policies, as did his successors. He persecuted Protestants in his kingdom, while Protestants abroad were his allies. Henry captured the three bishoprics of Metz, Toul, and Verdun. French offensives failed in Italy. In 1556, Charles V abdicated, splitting the Habsburg dominions between his son, Philip II of Spain, who gained Spain and the Low Countries, and his brother Ferdinand I, who became emperor. The French retook Calais after England allied with Spain. The Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis (1559) ended the Italian Wars. The French lost all their Italian territories except Saluzzo, and were confirmed in the possession of Calais and the three bishoprics. It was a diplomatic victory for Philip II, who gave up nothing which belonged to himself. The Spanish king retained Franche-Comté and was confirmed in his possession of Milan, Naples, Sicily, Sardinia, and the State of Presidi, making him the most powerful ruler in Italy.

French Wars of Religion

The last phase of Valois rule in France was marked by the French Wars of Religion. Henry II died in a jousting accident in 1559. His eldest son and heir, Francis II, succeeded him. The new king was already King of Scotland by right of his wife, Mary, Queen of Scots. The queen's maternal relatives, the House of Guise, gained an ascendancy over the young king.

The House of Guise was a cadet branch of the ducal House of Lorraine. They claimed descent from Charlemagne and had designs on the French throne. They considered the House of Bourbon, princes of the blood, as their natural enemies. The leading Bourbons, the brothers Antoine, King of Navarre, and Louis, Prince of Condé, were Protestants. The House of Guise identified themselves as champions of the Catholic cause. They were on the point of executing Condé when the young king died.

With the succession of her minor son Charles IX in 1560, Catherine de' Medici maneuvered for a balance of power. She released Condé, hoping to use the Bourbons as a counterweight against the Guises. Antoine of Navarre converted to Catholicism and became Lieutenant-General of the Kingdom. The Massacre of Vassy sparked the "first" religious war between the Catholics and the Huguenots. Navarre and Guise died in this war. Anne de Montmorency, Constable of France, was the notable casualty of the second war. Condé died in the third war. The Huguenots were unable to win a substantive victory, but were able to keep an army in the field.

Henry, King of Navarre, married Margaret of France, sister of Charles IX, in 1572. The marriage, which had been expected to reconcile the Protestants and Catholics, proved to be a disappointment. The St. Bartholomew's Day massacre ensued; the Huguenots who flocked in Paris for the wedding were massacred en masse. Navarre and Condé were spared, forced to convert, and detained. The guilt of having permitted the massacre would haunt Charles for the rest of his life. In 1573, the king's brother, Henry, Duke of Anjou, was elected King of Poland.

In 1574, only three months after Henry's coronation as King of Poland, he succeeded to the French throne as Henry III. The next year the king's only remaining brother, the Duke of Alençon, fled the court and joined with Condé and Navarre. This combined threat forced the new king to grant the demands of the rebels. Alençon was made Duke of Anjou. The concessions to the Huguenots disquieted the Catholics, who formed the Catholic League. The League was led by the princes of the House of Lorraine — the dukes of Guise, Mayenne, Aumale, Elboeuf, Mercœur and Lorraine, supported by Spain. The Huguenots held the southwest and were allied to England and the princes of Germany. The death of the king's brother, in 1584, meant that the Huguenot King of Navarre had become heir presumptive to the throne of France. Pressured by the Catholic League, the king issued the Treaty of Nemours, which outlawed Protestantism and made Protestants incapable of holding royal office.

In the resulting War of the Three Henrys, the royalists led by the king, the Huguenots led by Henry of Navarre, and the Catholic League led by Henry of Guise, fought a three-way contest for the control of France. After the humiliation of the Day of the Barricades, Henry III fled from Paris. Guise had entered Paris against his express prohibition; he resolved to assassinate the audacious duke. The assassination of Guise drew the odium of the Catholic League. Henry III sought the alliance of Navarre. The two kings were on the point of taking Paris with their great army, when the French king fell by the hands of an assassin. With his death the male line of the House of Valois had been completely extinguished, after reigning for 261 years in France.


The royal Bourbons originated in 1272, when the youngest son of King Louis IX married the heiress of the lordship of Bourbon. [5] The house continued for three centuries as a cadet branch, serving as nobles under the Direct Capetian and Valois kings.

In 1589, at the death of Henry III of France, the House of Valois became extinct in the male line. Under the Salic law, the Head of the House of Bourbon, as the senior representative of the senior-surviving branch of the Capetian dynasty, became King of France as Henry IV. [5]

List of Valois kings of France

French Monarchy
Capetian Dynasty
(House of Valois)
Arms of the Kingdom of France (Ancien).svg
Philip VI
John II
Philip, Duke of Orléans
John II
Charles V
Louis I of Anjou
John, Duke of Berry
Philip the Bold
Charles V
Charles VI
Louis, Duke of Orléans
Charles VI
Isabella of Valois
Michelle of Valois
Catherine of Valois
Charles VII
Charles VII
Louis XI
Charles, Duke of Berry
Louis XI
Charles VIII
Charles VIII
French Monarchy
Capetian Dynasty, House of Valois
(Valois-Orléans branch)
Arms of the Kingdom of France (Moderne).svg
Louis XII
Claude of France
Renée of France
French Monarchy
Capetian Dynasty, House of Valois
(Valois-Angoulême branch)
Arms of the Kingdom of France (Moderne).svg
Francis I
Francis, Dauphin of Viennois
Henry II
Magdalene, Queen of Scots
Charles of Valois
Margaret, Duchess of Savoy
Henry II
Francis II
Elizabeth, Queen of Spain
Claude, Duchess of Lorraine
Louis, Duke of Orléans
Charles IX
Henry III
Margaret, Queen of Navarre
Francis, Duke of Anjou
Joan of Valois
Victoria of Valois
Francis II
Charles IX
Marie Elisabeth of Valois
Henry III

Valois (direct)



The application of the Salic Law meant that with the extinction of the Valois in the male line, the Bourbons succeeded to the throne as descendants of Louis IX.

Valois king of Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth

Other significant titles held by the House of Valois

Counts and Dukes of Alençon

House of Valois-Alençon

Counts and Dukes of Anjou

House of Valois-Anjou

Dukes of Burgundy

House of Valois-Burgundy

Dukes of Brabant

House of Valois-Burgundy-Brabant

Counts of Nevers

House of Valois-Burgundy-Nevers

Dukes of Orléans

House of Valois-Orléans

Counts of Angoulême

House of Valois-Orléans-Angoulême

Illegitimate branches

Forms of address

Forms of address for Valois kings and princes included "Most Christian Majesty"." Dauphin" . " your Grace" . " Your Majesty" . " Most regal Majesty " .

See also


  1. Valois meaning, literally, "of the valley" or "from the valley".

Related Research Articles

The Count of Anjou was the ruler of the county of Anjou, first granted by Charles the Bald in the 9th century to Robert the Strong. Ingelger and his son were viscounts of Angers until Ingelger's son Fulk the Red assumed the title of Count of Anjou. The Robertians and their Capetian successors were distracted by wars with the Vikings and other concerns and were unable to recover the county until the reign of Philip II Augustus, more than 270 years later.

An appanage, or apanage, is the grant of an estate, title, office or other thing of value to a younger child of a sovereign, who would otherwise have no inheritance under the system of primogeniture. It was common in much of Europe.

Duke of Burgundy was a title used by the rulers of the Duchy of Burgundy, from its establishmemt in 843 to its annexation by France in 1477, and later by Habsburg sovereigns of the Burgundian Low Countries (1478-1556).

Duke of Orléans

Duke of Orléans was a title reserved for French royalty, first created in 1344 by Philip VI in favor of his son Philip of Valois. Known as princes of the blood, the title of Duke of Orléans was given, when available, to the King of France's eldest brother. Thus, until 1830, they formed a collateral line of the French royal family, with an eventual right to succeed to the throne should more senior princes of the blood die out. In this way, the title of Duke of Orléans may be considered analogous to the Duke of York, which is traditionally granted to the reigning English monarch's second son.

Duke of Bourbon

Duke of Bourbon is a title in the peerage of France. It was created in the first half of the 14th century for the eldest son of Robert of France, Count of Clermont and Beatrice of Burgundy, heiress of the lordship of Bourbon. In 1416, with the death of John of Valois, the Dukes of Bourbon were simultaneously Dukes of Auvergne.

House of Capet Rulers of the Kingdom of France from 987 to 1328

The House of Capet or the Direct Capetians, also called the House of 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. Contemporaries did not use the name "Capetian". The Capets were sometimes called "the third race of kings". The name "Capet" derives from the nickname given to Hugh, the first Capetian King, who became known as Hugh Capet.

Joan the Lame Queen consort of France

Joan of Burgundy, also known as Joan the Lame, was Queen of France as the first wife of King Philip VI. Joan served as regent while her husband fought on military campaigns during the Hundred Years' War.

House of Valois-Burgundy noble family

The House of Valois-Burgundy, or the Younger House of Burgundy, was a noble French family deriving from the royal House of Valois. It is distinct from the Capetian House of Burgundy, descendants of King Robert II of France, though both houses stem from the Capetian dynasty. They ruled the Duchy of Burgundy from 1363 to 1482 and later came to rule vast lands including Artois, Flanders, Luxembourg, Hainault, the county palatine of Burgundy (Franche-Comté), and other lands through marriage.

<i>Prince du sang</i>

A prince du sang is a person legitimately descended in dynastic line from any of a realm's hereditary monarchs. Historically, the term has been used to refer to men and women descended in the male line from a sovereign, although as absolute primogeniture has become more common in monarchies, those with succession rights through female descent are more likely than in the past to be accorded the princely title.

House of France

The term House of France refers to the branch of the Capetian dynasty which provided the Kings of France following the election of Hugh Capet. The House of France consists of a number of branches and their sub-branches. Some of its branches have acceded to the Crown, while others remained cadets.

The crown lands, crown estate, royal domain or domaine royal of France refers to the lands, fiefs and rights directly possessed by the kings of France. While the term eventually came to refer to a territorial unit, the royal domain originally referred to the network of "castles, villages and estates, forests, towns, religious houses and bishoprics, and the rights of justice, tolls and taxes" effectively held by the king or under his domination. In terms of territory, before the reign of Henry IV, the domaine royal did not encompass the entirety of the territory of the kingdom of France and for much of the Middle Ages significant portions of the kingdom were the direct possessions of other feudal lords.

Descendants of Henry IV of France

Henry IV of France was the first Bourbon king of France. Formerly known as Henri of Navarre, he succeeded to the French throne with the extinction of House of Valois, at the death of Henry III of France.

Bourbon claim to the Spanish throne Dynastic claim

After the death of the last Habsburg monarch of Spain in 1700, the childless Charles II, the Spanish throne was up for grabs between the various dynasties of Europe despite Charles having left a will naming his heir. In this will, Charles left Philip, Duke of Anjou, grandson of the French king, the possessions of the Spanish Crown.

Monarchism in France is the advocacy of restoring the monarchy in France, which was abolished after the 1870 defeat by Prussia, arguably before that in 1848 with the establishment of the French Second Republic. The French monarchist movements are roughly divided today in three groups: the Legitimists for the royal House of Bourbon, the Orléanists for the cadet branch of the House of Orleans and the Bonapartists for the imperial House of Bonaparte.

This article covers the mechanism by which the French throne passed from the establishment of the Frankish Kingdom in 486 to the fall of the Second French Empire in 1870.


  1. Wells, John C. (2008). Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3rd ed.). Longman. ISBN   978-1-4058-8118-0.
  2. Jones, Daniel (2011). Roach, Peter; Setter, Jane; Esling, John (eds.). Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary (18th ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN   978-0-521-15255-6.
  3. Empress Matilda had claimed the English throne in the early 12th century. However, Stephen of Blois contested her claim, occasioning a lengthy civil war, and Mathilda was not usually regarded as a legitimate monarch of England.
  4. Weir, Alison (2011) [1989]. "The House of Hanover". Britain's Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy. Random House. p. 286. ISBN   9781446449110 . Retrieved 17 June 2019. On 1 January, 1801, [King George III] relinquished for ever the title 'King of France', held by English kings since Edward III laid claim to the French crown in 1340.
  5. 1 2 Anselme, Père. ‘’Histoire de la Maison Royale de France’’, tome 4. Editions du Palais-Royal, 1967, Paris. pp. 144–146, 151–153, 175, 178, 180, 185, 187–189, 191, 295–298, 318–319, 322–329. (French).
House of Valois
Cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty
Preceded by
House of Capet
Ruling House of France
Succeeded by
House of Bourbon
Preceded by
Capetian House of Burgundy
Ruling House of the Duchy of Burgundy
Succeeded by
House of Habsburg