Philip VI of France

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Philip VI (1293 – 22 August 1350), known as the Fortunate (French: le Fortuné[1]) and of Valois, was the King of France from 1328 to his death. He was also Count of Anjou, Maine, and Valois from 1325 to 1328. A member of the Capetian dynasty, he was the son of Charles of Valois (who was the brother of King Charles IV's father Philip IV) and the first King of France from the House of Valois.


Ascension to the throne

Philip's father, the younger brother of King Philip IV of France, had striven throughout his life to gain a throne for himself, but was never successful. He died in 1325, leaving his eldest son Philip as heir to the counties of Anjou, Maine, and Valois.

In 1328, Philip's first cousin, King Charles IV, died without an agnatic male descendant; however, at the time of his death his wife was pregnant. Philip was one of the two chief claimants to the throne along with the demands of Dowager Queen Isabella of England, the late King Charles' sister, who claimed the French throne for her young son King Edward III of England. Philip rose to the regency with support of the French magnates, following the pattern set up by Philip V's succession over his niece Joan II of Navarre, and Charles IV's succession over all his nieces, including daughters of Philip V. A century later this pattern became the Salic law, which forbade females and those descended in the female line from succeeding to the throne. After Charles' queen, Jeanne d'Évreux, gave birth to a girl, Philip was crowned as King on 29 May 1328[2] at the Cathedral in Reims. Philip VI was neither the heir nor a descendant of Joan I of Navarre, whose inheritance (the kingdom of Navarre, as well as the counties of Champagne, Troyes, Meaux and Brie) had been in personal union with the crown of France almost 50 years and had long been administered by the same royal machinery (established by Philip IV, the father of French bureaucracy), which administrative resource was inherited by Philip VI. These counties were closely entrenched in the economic and administrative entity of the Royal Domain of France, being located adjacent to Ile-de-France. Philip, however, was not entitled to that inheritance; the rightful heiress was Louis X's surviving daughter, the future Joan II of Navarre, the heir general of Joan I of Navarre. Philip ceded Navarre to Joan II, but regarding the counties in Champagne, they struck a deal: Joan II received vast lands in Normandy (adjacent to her husband's fief in Evreux) in compensation, and Philip got to keep Champagne as part of the Royal Domain.

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