English claims to the French throne

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Coat of arms with three lions, gold on red, in two quarter, fleurs de lys, gold on blue, in two.thumb
English stained glass window from c. 1350–77, showing the coat of arms of Edward III, which featured the three lions of England quartered with the fleurs-de-lys of France.[1]
Edward III, first English king to claim the throne of France

From 1340-1800 many English and later British monarchs claimed the throne of France. The origin of the claims come from Edward III's territorial claims of France which he claimed gave him the right to be king. He tried to take the throne of France and started the Hundred Years' War.[2]

Claims to the throne of France (1340-1360), (1369-1420)[change | change source]

Name of Monarch Birth of Monarch Death of Monarch Reign of Monarch
Edward III (first reign) 13th November 1312 21st June 1377 24th January 1340 - 8th May 1360
Edward III (second reign) 13th November 1312 21st June 1377 Sometime 1369 - 21st June 1377
Richard II 6th January 1367 14th February 1400 21st/22nd June 1377 - 30th September 1399
Henry IV 15th April 1367 20th March 1413 30th September 1399 - 20th March 1413
Henry V 9th August 1386 31st August 1422 20th March 1413 - 21st May 1420

Heir of France (1420-1422)[change | change source]

Name of Monarch Birth of Monarch Death of Monarch Reign of Monarch
Henry V 9th August 1386 31st August 1422 21st May 1420 - 3st August 1422
Henry VI 6th December 1421 21st May 1471 31st August 1422 - 21st October 1422

King of France (1422-1461), (1470-1471)[change | change source]

Portrait of Henry VI, 16th century ~.
Henry VI

The first English monarch to completely rule France for majority of his reign.

Henry VI was made to be successor of French king Charles VI and on October 21st 1422 took up the position of the French king. He was said to rule the whole of France but in reality only ruled small parts of the north. Charles VII was later crowned as king of France, son of Charles VI starting a small line of disputed monarchs and the English, later British monarch claiming the throne of France for another 350 years.

Name of Monarch Birth of Monarch Death of Monarch Reign of Monarch
Henry VI (first reign) 6th December 1421 21st May 1471 21st October 1422 - 4th March 1461
Henry VI (second reign) 6th December 1421 21st May 1471 31st October 1470 - 11th April 1471

King of Calais (1461-1470), (1470-1558)[change | change source]

Edward IV also claimed the throne of France during Henry VI's absence from the English throne and his claims happened in between Henry's so reign of the monarch may not be in perfect order for this list. The claim was of France but really monarchs only ruled Calais due to the terrible general skills of the Duke of Somerset, a close friend of Margaret of Anjou and Henry VI.

Name of Monarch Birth of Monarch Death of Monarch Reign of Monarch
Edward IV of England (first reign) 28th April 1442 9th April 1483 4th March 1461 - 31st October 1470
Edward IV of England (second reign) 28th April 1442 9th April 1483 11th April 1471 - 9th April 1483
Edward V of England 2nd November 1470 After 26th June 1483 9th April 1483 - 26th June 1483 (deposed)
Richard III of England 2nd October 1452 22nd August 1485 26th June 1483 - 22nd August 1485 (killed in battle)
Henry VII of England 28th January 1457 21st April 1509 22nd August 1485 - 21st April 1509
Henry VIII of England 28th June 1491 28th January 1547 21st April 1509 - 28th January 1547
Edward VI of England 12th October 1537 6th July 1553 28th January 1547 - 6th July 1553
Jane of England (Lady Jane Grey) Around 1536-1537 12th February 1554 6th/10th July 1553 - 19th July 1553 (deposed, then executed)
Mary I of England 18th February 1516 17th November 1558 19th July 1553 - 7th January 1558
Henry VI coat of arms used between 1422-1460, 1470-1471.
Coat of arms of Henry VI, shows fleur de lies meant to represent France.

Phillip II of Spain/Phillip I of England who ruled with Mary did claim Calais and partially rule it but he is considered a co-king of the Tudor dynasty and will not be counted as a legitimate Calais ruler or English king and more of a co-king/consort.

Later Tudor claimants (1558-1603)[change | change source]

Name of Monarch Birth of Monarch Death of Monarch Reign of Monarch
Mary I of England 18th February 1516 17th November 1558 7th January 1558 - 17th November 1558
Elizabeth I of England 7th September 1533 24th March 1603 17th November 1558 - 24th March 1603

English and Scottish claims (1603-1707)[change | change source]

English and Scottish claims refer to claims made after the 1603 union between the English monarch and the Scottish monarch when Scottish king James VI became English king James I uniting the kingdoms under one king. However they remained geo-politically separate until the 1707 Acts of Union which united Scotland and England (including the Principality of Wales) into one nation now named Great Britain as of 1707, later the United Kingdom in 1800, the year George III dropped his claim.

Name of Monarch Birth of Monarch Death of Monarch Reign of Monarch
James VI/I of England and Scotland 19th June 1566 27th March 1625/6th April 1625 (disputed historically) 24th March 1603 - 27th March 1625
Charles I of England and Scotland 19th November 1600 30th January 1649 (executed by Oliver Cromwell) 27th March 1625 - 30th January 1649
Charles II of Scotland, later England 29th May 1630 6th February 1685 (passed the throne to his brother) 30th January 1649 - 6th February 1685
James VII/II of England and Scotland 14th October 1633 16th September 1701 (deposed as he was catholic) 6th February 1685 - 12th February 1689
William and Mary (ruling together) 4th November 1650 & 30th April 1662 28th April 1694 (Mary) & 8th March 1702 (William) 12th February 1689 - 28th April 1694
William III/II (on his own) 4th November 1650 8th March 1702 28th April 1694 - 8th March 1702
Anne (of Great Britain, later) 6th February 1665 24th August 1714 8th March 1702 - 1st May 1707

British claims (1707-1800)[change | change source]

Name of Monarch Birth of Monarch Death of Monarch Reign of Monarch
Anne (of England and Scotland, previously) 6th February 1665 24th August 1714 1st May 1707 - 24th August 1714
George I (of Great Britain) 28th May 1660 11th June 1727 24th August 1714 - 11th June 1727
George II (of Great Britain) and Ireland 30th October/9th November 1683 25th October 1760 11th June 1727 - 25th October 1760
George III (of Great Britain) later the UK 4th June 1738 16th February 1820 25th October 1760 - 31st December 1800

References[change | change source]

  1. Maclagan, Michael; Louda, Jiří (1981). Line of Succession: Heraldry of the Royal Families of Europe. London: Macdonald & Co. p. 17. ISBN 0-85613-276-4.
  2. "The English Claim to the French throne – Royal Central". royalcentral.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-05-27.