List of French monarchs

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Monarchy of France
Former Monarchy
Arms of the Kingdom of France (Moderne).svg
Coat of arms of France
First monarch Clovis I
(as King of the Franks)
Last monarch Napoleon III
(as Emperor)
Style see Style of the French sovereign
Appointer Hereditary
Monarchy started 428
Monarchy ended 24 February 1848
(Royal Monarchy)
4 September 1870
(Imperial Monarchy)
Current pretender Disputed
Louis Alphonse
(House of Bourbon)
Henri d'Orléans
(House of Orléans)
Jean Christophe
(House of Bonaparte)

The monarchs of France ruled from the start of the Frankish Kingdom in 486 to 1870. During most of its history, France was ruled by kings. Four Carolingian monarchs were also Roman Emperors and the Bonapartes were Emperors of the French.

This article lists all rulers to have held the title "King of Franks", "King of France", "King of the French" or "Emperor of the French".

The title "King of the Franks" was in use until the reign of Philip II. During the short time 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)".

In addition to the Kingdom of France, there were also two French Empires. The First French Empire was from 1804–1815. It was founded and ruled by Napoleon I. The Second French Empire was from 1852–1870. It was founded and ruled by his nephew Napoleon III.

Merovingian Dynasty (428–751)[change | edit source]

The name of France comes from the Germanic tribe known as the Franks. The Merovingian kings began as chieftains. The oldest known was Chlodio. 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, Orléans (Burgundy), and Metz (Austrasia). Several Merovingian monarchs brought back together the Frankish kingdoms and took the title of "King of the Franks". But upon their deaths, according to Frankish custom, the kingdom would often be split once again between their sons.

Portrait Name King From King Until Relationship with Predecessor(s) Title
Portrait Roi de france Clodion.jpg Chlodio the Longhair
(Clodion le Chevelu)
428 445/448  • Son of Theudemeres King of the Salian Franks
(Roi des Francs saliens)
Portrait Roi de france Mérovée.jpg Merovech
(Mérovée)
445/448 457  • Son of Chlodio King of the Salian Franks
(Roi des Francs saliens)
Seal of Childeric I Tournai tomb.jpg Childeric I
(Childéric Ier)
457 481/482  • Son of Merovech King of the Salian Franks
(Roi des Francs saliens)
Clovis 1er.jpg Clovis I
(Clovis Ier)
481/482 511  • Son of Childeric I King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Tiers de sou d'or de Childebert Ier.png Childebert I
(Childebert Ier)
511 23 December 558  • Son of Clovis I King of Paris
(Roi de Paris)
Monnaie d'argent de Clotaire Ier.png Chlothar I the Old
(Clotaire Ier le Vieux)
23 December 558 29 November 561  • Son of Clovis I
 • Younger brother of Childebert I
King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Jean-Joseph Dassy (1796-1865) - Caribert, roi franc de Paris et de l'ouest de Gaule (mort en 567).jpg Charibert I
(Caribert Ier)
29 November 561 567  • Son of Chlothar I King of Paris
(Roi de Paris)
Portrait Roi de france Chilpéric roy de France.jpg Chilperic I
(Chilpéric Ier)
567 584  • Son of Chlothar I
 • Younger brother of Charibert I
King of Paris
(Roi de Paris)

King of Neustria
(Roi de Neustrie)
Clothaire II 584 628.jpg Chlothar II the Great, the Young
(Clotaire II le Grand, le Jeune)
584 18 October 629  • Son of Chilperic I King of Neustria
(Roi de Neustrie)

King of Paris
(Roi de Paris)
(595–629)

King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
(613–629)
Tiers de sou or Dagobert Ier.jpg Dagobert I
(Dagobert Ier)
18 October 629 19 January 639  • Son of Chlothar II King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Tiers de sous d'or de Clovis II.jpg Clovis II the Lazy
(Clovis II le Fainéant)
19 January 639 31 October 657  • Son of Dagobert I King of Neustria and Burgundy
(Roi de Neustrie et de Bourgogne)
Clothar III.jpg Chlothar III
(Clotaire III)
31 October 657 673  • Son of Clovis II King of Neustria and Burgundy
(Roi de Neustrie et de Bourgogne)

King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
(657–663)
Portrait Roi de france Childéric II.jpg Childeric II
(Childéric II)
673 675  • Son of Clovis II
 • Younger brother of Chlothar III
King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Theuderic III.jpg Theuderic III
(Thierry III)
675 691  • Son of Clovis II
 • Younger brother of Childeric II
King of Neustria
(Roi de Neustrie)

King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
(687–691)
Georges Rouget (1783-1869) - Clovis III roi d'Austrasie en 691 (682-695).jpg Clovis IV
(Clovis IV)
691 695  • Son of Theuderic III King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Childebert III 694 711.jpg Childebert III the Just
(Childebert III le Juste)
695 23 April 711  • Son of Theuderic III
 • Younger brother of Clovis IV
King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Portrait Roi de france Dagobert II (i.e III).jpg Dagobert III 23 April 711 715  • Son of Childebert III King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Portrait Roy de france Chilperic II.jpg Chilperic II
(Chilpéric II)
715 13 February 721  • 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)

The last Merovingian kings, known as the lazy kings (rois fainéants), did not hold any real political power. 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 brought back the Merovingian dynasty by raising Childeric III to the throne in 743. In 751, Pepin deposed Childerich and took the throne.

Portrait Name King From King Until Relationship with Predecessor(s) Title
Jean Dassier (1676-1763) - Childéric III roy de France (754).jpg Childeric III
(Childéric III)
743 November 751  • Son of Chilperic II or of Theuderic IV King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)

Carolingian Dynasty (751–987)[change | edit source]

Three of the twelve kings during the 147-year Carolingian Dynasty – Odo, his brother Robert I and Robert's son in law Raoul/Rudolph – were not from the Carolingian Dynasty but from the rival Robertian Dynasty. The Robertian Dynasty became the Capetian Dynasty with when Hugh Capet took the throne in 987.

Portrait Name King From King Until Relationship with Predecessor(s) Title
Pépin the younger.jpg Pepin the Younger
(Pépin le Bref)
752 24 September 768  • Son of Charles Martel King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Carloman.jpg Carloman I 24 September 768 4 December 771  • Son of Pepin the Short King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Charlemagne Allemagne.jpg Charlemagne (Charles I) 24 September 768 28 January 814  • Son of Pepin the Short King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)

Emperor of the Romans
(Imperator Romanorum)
(800–814)
Ludwik I Pobożny.jpg Louis I the Pious, the Debonaire
(Louis Ier le Pieux, le Débonnaire)
28 January 814 20 June 840  • Son of Charlemagne King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)

Emperor of the Romans
(Imperator Romanorum)
CharlesIItheBald.JPG Charles II the Bald
(Charles II le Chauve)
20 June 840 6 October 877  • Son of Louis I King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)

Emperor of the Romans
(Imperator Romanorum)
(875–877)
Louis II of France.JPG Louis II the Stammerer
(Louis II le Bègue)
6 October 877 10 April 879  • Son of Charles II King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
King Louis III.gif Louis III 10 April 879 5 August 882  • Son of Louis II King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Carloman II of France.jpg Carloman II 5 August 882 6 December 884  • Son of Louis II King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Die deutschen Kaiser Karl der Dicke.jpg Charles the Fat
(Charles le Gros)
20 May 885 13 January 888  • Son of Louis the German
 • Cousin of Louis II and Carloman II
 • Grandson of Louis I the Pious
King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)

Emperor of the Romans
(Imperator Romanorum)
(881–887)
Odo of France.PNG Odo of Paris
(Eudes de Paris)
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)
Georges Rouget (1783-1869) - Charles III, dit le simple, roi de France en 896 (879-929).jpg Charles III the Simple
(Charles III le Simple)
28 January 893 30 June 922  • Posthumous son of Louis II
 • Younger half-brother of Louis III and Carloman II
King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Robert I de France.jpg Robert I
(Robert Ier)
30 June 922 15 June 923  • Son of Robert the Strong (Robertians)
 • Younger brother of Odo
King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Rudolph of France.PNG Rudolph
(Raoul de France)
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)
Louis IV of France.PNG Louis IV from overseas
(Louis IV d'Outremer)
19 June 936 10 September 954  • Son of Charles III King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Lothaire-Face.jpg Lothair
(Lothaire de France)
12 November 954 2 March 986  • Son of Louis IV King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Louis V.jpg Louis V the Lazy
(Louis V le Fainéant)
8 June 986 22 May 987  • Son of Lothair King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)

Capetian Dynasty (987–1792)[change | edit source]

The Capetian Dynasty, the male-line descendants of Hugh Capet, ruled France from 987 to 1792 and again from 1814 to 1848. The branches of the dynasty which ruled after 1328 are generally called Valois and Bourbon.

Direct Capetians (987–1328)[change | edit source]

Portrait Coat of Arms Name King From King Until Relationship with Predecessor(s) Title
King Hugh Capet.jpg Hugh Capet
(Hugues Capet)
3 July 987 24 October 996  • Grandson of Robert I King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Seal of Robert II.jpg Robert II the Pious, the Wise
(Robert II le Pieux, le Sage)
24 October 996 20 July 1031  • Son of Hugh Capet King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Henri I.jpg Henry I
(Henri Ier)
20 July 1031 4 August 1060  • Son of Robert II King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Philip I of France · HHWXI28.svg Philip I
(Philippe Ier l' Amoureux)
4 August 1060 29 July 1108  • Son of Henry I King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Louis VI of France.gif Louis VI the Fat
(Louis VI le Gros)
29 July 1108 1 August 1137  • Son of Philip I King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
II Geza es VII Lajos KK.jpg Arms of the Kingdom of France (Ancien).svg Louis VII the Young
(Louis VII le Jeune)
1 August 1137 18 September 1180  • Son of Louis VI King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
Louis-Félix Amiel-Philippe II dit Philippe-Auguste Roi de France (1165-1223).jpg Arms of the Kingdom of France (Ancien).svg Philip II Augustus
(Philippe II Auguste)
18 September 1180 14 July 1223  • Son of Louis VII King of the Franks
(Roi des Francs)
King of France
(Roi de France)
Louis8lelion.jpg Arms of the Kingdom of France (Ancien).svg Louis VIII the Lion
(Louis VIII le Lion)
14 July 1223 8 November 1226  • Son of Philip II Augustus King of France
(Roi de France)
Louis-ix.jpg Arms of the Kingdom of France (Ancien).svg Louis IX the Saint
(Saint Louis)
8 November 1226 25 August 1270  • Son of Louis VIII King of France
(Roi de France)
Miniature Philippe III Courronement.jpg Arms of the Kingdom of France (Ancien).svg Philip III the Bold
(Philippe III le Hardi)
25 August 1270 5 October 1285  • Son of Louis IX King of France
(Roi de France)
style="text-align:center;" style="text-align:center;"|Arms of the Kingdom of France & Navarre (Ancien).svg Philip IV the Fair
(Philippe IV le Bel)
5 October 1285 29 November 1314  • Son of Philip III King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)
Louis X Le Hutin.jpg Arms of the Kingdom of France & Navarre (Ancien).svg Louis X the Quarreller
(Louis X le Hutin)
29 November 1314 5 June 1316  • Son of Philip IV King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)
John I of France.jpg Arms of the Kingdom of France & Navarre (Ancien).svg John I the Posthumous
(Jean Ier le Posthume)
15 November 1316 20 November 1316  • Son of Louis X King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)
Philippe V Le Long.JPG Arms of the Kingdom of France & Navarre (Ancien).svg Philip V the Tall
(Philippe V le Long)
20 November 1316 3 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 Le Bel.jpg Arms of the Kingdom of France & Navarre (Ancien).svg Charles IV the Fair
(Charles IV le Bel)
3 January 1322 1 February 1328  • Son of Philip IV
 • Younger brother of Philip V
King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)

Not listed above are Hugh Magnus, eldest son of Robert II, and Philip of France, eldest son of Louis VI. Both were co-Kings with their fathers but died before them. Because neither Hugh nor Philip were sole or senior king in their own lifetimes, they are usually not listed as Kings of France.

House of Valois (1328–1589)[change | edit source]

Portrait Coat of Arms Name King From King Until Relationship with Predecessor(s) Title
Philippe6devalois.jpg Arms of the Kingdom of France (Ancien).svg Philip VI of Valois, the Fortunate
(Philippe VI de Valois, le Fortuné)
1 April 1328 22 August 1350  • Son of Charles of Valois, who was son of Philip III King of France
(Roi de France)
JeanIIdFrance.jpg Arms of the Kingdom of France (Ancien).svg John II the Good
(Jean II le Bon)
22 August 1350 8 April 1364  • Son of Philip VI King of France
(Roi de France)
Charles5lesage.jpg Arms of the Kingdom of France (Ancien).svg Charles V the Wise
(Charles V le Sage)
8 April 1364 16 September 1380  • Son of John II King of France
(Roi de France)
Couronnement de Charles VI le Bien-Aimé.jpg Arms of the Kingdom of France (Moderne).svg Charles VI the Beloved, the Mad
(Charles VI le Bienaimé, le Fol)
16 September 1380 21 October 1422  • Son of Charles V King of France
(Roi de France)
Charles VII de france.jpg Arms of the Kingdom of France (Moderne).svg Charles VII the Victorious, the Well-Served
(Charles VII le Victorieux, le Bien-Servi)
21 October 1422 22 July 1461  • Son of Charles VI King of France
(Roi de France)
Louis XI of France.jpg Arms of the Kingdom of France (Moderne).svg Louis XI the Prudent, the Universal Spider
(Louis XI le Prudent, l'Universelle Aragne)
22 July 1461 30 August 1483  • Son of Charles VII King of France
(Roi de France)
Charles VIII de france.jpg Arms of the Kingdom of France (Moderne).svg Charles VIII the Affable
(Charles VIII l'Affable)
30 August 1483 7 April 1498  • Son of Louis XI King of France
(Roi de France)

ValoisOrléans Branch (1498–1515)[change | edit source]

Portrait Coat of Arms Name King From King Until Relationship with Predecessor(s) Title
Ludvig XII av Frankrike på målning från 1500-talet.jpg Arms of the Kingdom of France (Moderne).svg Louis XII Father of the People
(Louis XII le Père du Peuple)
7 April 1498 1 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)

ValoisAngoulême Branch (1515–1589)[change | edit source]

Portrait Coat of Arms Name King From King Until Relationship with Predecessor(s) Title
Francis1-1.jpg Grand Royal Coat of Arms of France.svg Francis I the Father and Restorer of Letters
(François Ier le Père et Restaurateur des Lettres)
1 January 1515 31 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 of France..jpg Grand Royal Coat of Arms of France.svg Henry II
(Henri II)
31 March 1547 10 July 1559  • Son of Francis I King of France
(Roi de France)
Francesco II.jpg Grand Royal Coat of Arms of France.svg Francis II
(François II)
10 July 1559 5 December 1560  • Son of Henry II King of France
(Roi de France)

King of Scots
(1558–1560)
Charles IX by Francois Clouet.jpg Grand Royal Coat of Arms of France.svg Charles IX 5 December 1560 30 May 1574  • Son of Henry II
 • Younger brother of Francis II
King of France
(Roi de France)
Anjou 1570louvre.jpg Grand Royal Coat of Arms of France.svg Henry III
(Henri III)
30 May 1574 2 August 1589  • Son of Henry II
 • Younger brother of Charles IX
King of France
(Roi de France)

King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania
(1573–1575)

House of Bourbon (1589–1792)[change | edit source]

Portrait Coat of Arms Name King From King Until Relationship with Predecessor(s) Title
Henry IV of france by pourbous younger.jpg Grand Royal Coat of Arms of France & Navarre.svg Henry IV, Good King Henry, the Green Gallant
(Henri IV, le Bon Roi Henri, le Vert-Galant)
2 August 1589 14 May 1610  • Tenth generation descendant of Louis IX in the male line
 • Grandnephew of Francis I
 • Second cousin, and by first marriage brother-in-law of Francis II, Charles IX and Henry III
King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)
LouisXIII.jpg Grand Royal Coat of Arms of France & Navarre.svg Louis XIII the Just
(Louis XIII le Juste)
14 May 1610 14 May 1643  • Son of Henry IV King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)
Louis XIV of France.jpg Grand Royal Coat of Arms of France & Navarre.svg Louis XIV the Great, the Sun King
(Louis XIV le Grand, le Roi Soleil)
14 May 1643 1 September 1715  • Son of Louis XIII King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)
LouisXV-Rigaud1.jpg Grand Royal Coat of Arms of France & Navarre.svg Louis XV the Beloved
(Louis XV le Bien-Aimé)
1 September 1715 10 May 1774  • Great-grandson of Louis XIV King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)
style="text-align:center;" style="text-align:center;"|Grand Royal Coat of Arms of France & Navarre.svg Louis XVI the Restorer of the French Liberty
(Louis XVI le Restaurateur de la Liberté Française)
10 May 1774 21 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)

From 21 January 1793 to 8 June 1795, Louis XVI's son Louis-Charles was titled King of France as Louis XVII. In reality, he was imprisoned in the Temple during this time. His power was held by the leaders of the Republic. On Louis XVII's death, his uncle Louis-Stanislas claimed the throne, as Louis XVIII. He was only de facto King of France in 1814.

First Republic (1792–1804)[change | edit source]

The First French Republic lasted from 1792 to 1804, when its First Consul, Napoléon Bonaparte, declared himself Emperor of the French.

House of Bonaparte, First Empire (1804–1814)[change | edit source]

Portrait Coat of Arms Name Emperor From Emperor Until Relationship with Predecessor(s) Title
Napoleon I (by Anne Louis Girodet de Roucy-Trioson).jpg Grandes Armes Impériales (1804-1815)2.svg Napoleon I, the Great
(Napoléon Ier, le Grand)
18 May 1804 11 April 1814 - Emperor of the French
(Empereur des Français)

House of Bourbon, Bourbon Restoration (1814–1815)[change | edit source]

Portrait Coat of Arms Name King From King Until Relationship with Predecessor(s) Title
Lodewijk XVIII.jpg Coat of Arms of the Bourbon Restoration (1815-30).svg Louis XVIII 11 April 1814 20 March 1815  • Younger brother of Louis XVI/ uncle of Louis XVII King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)

House of Bonaparte, First Empire (Hundred Days, 1815)[change | edit source]

Portrait Coat of Arms Name Emperor From Emperor Until Relationship with Predecessor(s) Title
Napoleon I (by Anne Louis Girodet de Roucy-Trioson).jpg Grandes Armes Impériales (1804-1815)2.svg Napoleon I
(Napoléon Ier)
20 March 1815 22 June 1815 - Emperor of the French
(Empereur des Français)
80 Napoleon II.jpg Grandes Armes Impériales (1804-1815)2.svg Napoleon II
(Napoléon II)
[1]
22 June 1815 7 July 1815 Son of Napoleon I Emperor of the French
(Empereur des Français)

House of Bourbon (1815–1830)[change | edit source]

Portrait Coat of Arms Name King From King Until Relationship with Predecessor(s) Title
Lodewijk XVIII.jpg Coat of Arms of the Bourbon Restoration (1815-30).svg Louis XVIII 7 July 1815 16 September 1824  • Younger brother of Louis XVI/ uncle of Louis XVII King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)
Charles X Roi de France et de Navarre.jpg Coat of Arms of the Bourbon Restoration (1815-30).svg Charles X 16 September 1824 2 August 1830  • Younger brother of Louis XVIII King of France and of Navarre
(Roi de France et de Navarre)

The elder son of Charles X, the Dauphin Louis-Antoine, is sometimes said to have legally been the King of France as Louis XIX. This is in the 20 minutes between Charles X's formal signature of abdication and the Dauphin's own signature.
Henri d'Artois, Charles X's grandson, is said by monarchists to be the King of France, as Henry V from 2 August 1830 to 9 August 1830. He was never recognized by the French State. He is generally not in lists of official French monarchs.

House of Orléans, July Monarchy (1830–1848)[change | edit source]

Portrait Coat of Arms Name King From King Until Relationship with Predecessor(s) Title
Louis-Philippe de Bourbon.jpg Coat of Arms of the July Monarchy (1831-48).svg Louis-Philippe I the Citizen King
(Louis Philippe, le Roi Citoyen)
9 August 1830 24 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)

Second Republic (1848–1852)[change | edit source]

The Second French Republic lasted from 1848 to 1852, when its president, Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, was declared Emperor of the French.

House of Bonaparte, Second Empire (1852–1870)[change | edit source]

Portrait Coat of Arms Name Emperor From Emperor Until Relationship with Predecessor(s) Title
Franz Xaver Winterhalter Napoleon III.jpg Coat of Arms Second French Empire (1852–1870)-2.svg Napoleon III
(Napoléon III)
2 December 1852 4 September 1870  • Nephew of Napoleon I Emperor of the French
(Empereur des Français)

Heads of State following 1871[change | edit source]

The chronology of Head of State of France continues with the Presidents of France. There were short term periods by the Chief of State of the French State (1940–1944), the Chairman of the Provisional Government of the French Republic (1944–1946) and the President of the French Senate (1969 and 1974) during the Fifth Republic.

References[change | edit source]

  1. 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, the young child's reign was entirely fictional, as he was residing in Austria with his mother. Louis XVIII was reinstalled as king on 7 July.