Blanche of France, Duchess of Orléans

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For other people of the same name, see Blanche of France.
Blanche of France
Duchess of Orléans
Blanche de France (fille de Charles IV).jpg
Tomb of Blanche in Notre-Dame
Tenure 1345–1376
Spouse Philip, Duke of Orléans
House House of Capet
House of Valois
Father Charles IV of France
Mother Jeanne d'Évreux
Born 1328
Died 1382 (aged 53-54)
Burial Basilica of St Denis

Blanche of France (1 April 1328 – 8 February 1382) was the posthumous daughter of King Charles IV of France and his third wife Jeanne d'Évreux.

Succession[edit]

As with his brother before him, Charles IV died without a male heir, thus ending the direct line of the House of Capet. Twelve years earlier, a rule against succession by females, arguably derived from the Salic law, had been recognized as controlling succession to the French throne. Application of this rule barred Charles' 1-year-old daughter Mary from succeeding as the monarch.

Jeanne was also pregnant at the time of his death. Since it could have been possible that she would give birth to a son, a regency was set up with the heir presumptive Philip of Valois, a member of the House of Valois (the next-most-senior branch of the Capetian dynasty), being the regent. After two months, Jeanne gave birth to Blanche. The regent thus became the King and in May was consecrated and crowned Philip VI. At this time, a further rule of succession, again arguably based on the Salic law, was recognized as forbidding not only inheritance by a woman, but also inheritance through a female line.

Marriage[edit]

Blanche married on 8 January 1345 her cousin Philip, Duke of Orléans (1336–1375), son of King Philip VI of France and Queen Joan the Lame. They had no children but Philip had illegitimate children. He had died in 1376, his title and lands returning to the royal domain.

Blanche died in 1392 and is buried in the chapel of Notre-Dame in the Basilica of St Denis.[1]

Family tree[edit]

Notes[edit]