List of French monarchs

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The Monarchs of France ruled, first as kings and later as emperors (the Bonapartes only), from the establishment of the Kingdom of France in the Middle Ages to 1870. There is some disagreement as to when France came into existence. One possible 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.

In light of these trends, this article lists all rulers to have held the title "King of France" or "King of the Franks". For other Frankish monarchs, see List of Frankish Kings.

In addition to the monarchs listed below, the Kings of England and Great Britain from 1340–1360 and 1369–1801 also claimed the title of King of France. For a short time, this had some basis in fact — under the terms of the 1420 Treaty of Troyes, Charles VI had recognized his son-in-law Henry V of England as regent and heir. Henry V predeceased Charles VI and so Henry V's son, Henry VI, succeeded his grandfather Charles VI as King of France. Most of Northern France was under English control until 1435, but by 1453, the English had been expelled from all of France save Calais (and the Channel Islands), and Calais itself fell in 1558. Nevertheless, English and then British monarchs continued to claim the title for themselves until the creation of the United Kingdom in 1801. 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 II.[1] 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.


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