History of the French line of succession

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A history of the French line of succession, from Hugh Capet to Napoléon III, showing its state at the death of each monarch. For the current lines of succession to the French throne, see the links section below. Normally, only the first ten heirs are listed, if possible. It is notable that the dynastic principles of primogeniture in accordance with Salic Law were not deviated from between Hugh Capet's accession in 987 until the deposition of Louis XVI in 1791; every monarch of France (with the exceptions of the Napoleonic emperors) was a legitimate, agnatic male descendant of Hugh Capet.

House of Capet 987–1328[edit]

Following the accession of Hugh Capet to the French throne in AD 987, there was not to be a significant issue of dynastic inheritance for three centuries: through thirteen generations, the deceased King's oldest surviving son inherited the throne as follows:

Following the death of Philip IV in 1314, he was succeeded by his eldest son Louis X, but Louis died two years later, leaving his posthumous son John I as his heir; John died within five days of his birth. The Count of Poitiers, younger brother of Louis X, claimed the throne, excluding Joan of France, Louis X's daughter, from the French succession (although she later inherited the throne of Navarre). From that point there was no going back; the Count of Poitiers became Philip V of France, setting the precedent that only males could succeed to the throne. Philip would also die without a male heir, so he was succeeded by his brother, who became Charles IV.

Following the death of Charles IV in 1328 a succession dispute arose. Edward III of England argued that succession systems in place elsewhere, including cognatic primogeniture and proximity of blood, gave him a superior claim as the son of Isabella of France, daughter of Philip IV and sister of Louis X, Philip V and Charles IV. Edward was not in fact the senior cognatic heir, who instead was Joan II of Navarre, daughter of Louis X, followed by several other male-line granddaughters of Philip IV, one of whom had a young son (Philip of Burgundy); on the other hand, Edward was neither a woman nor a child, and was more closely related to Charles IV (as his nephew) than some other claimants. Nonetheless Philip (son of Charles of Valois, younger son of Philip III) obtained the crown on the grounds that his descent from kings of France was in the male line. From that point it was clarified that the succession would not only exclude females, but also their male issue. Several decades later, Salic law would be rediscovered, and was used by the agents of the French king to boost their master's claim in a propaganda war against the King of England. Edward and his successors pressed their claim militarily until 1453 (see the Hundred Years' War), and the monarchs of England continued to call themselves monarchs of France until 1801.

Charles IV[edit]

At the date of the death of Charles IV, the last male member of the senior branch of the House of Capet, February 1, 1328, the agnatic line of succession was as follows:

  1. Philip of Valois, Count of Valois, Anjou and Maine, son of Charles of Valois, grandson of Philip III of France (b. 1293)
  2. John of Valois, son of the Count of Valois (b. 1319)
  3. Charles of Valois, Count of Alençon and Perche, son of Charles of Valois (b. 1297)
  4. Charles of Évreux, Count of Étampes, son of Louis of Évreux, grandson of Philip III (b. 1305)
  5. Philip of Évreux, Count of Évreux, son of Louis of Évreux (b. 1306)
  6. Louis of Bourbon, Duke of Bourbon, Count of La Marche, son of Robert, Count of Clermont, grandson of Louis IX of France (b. 1279)
  7. Peter of Bourbon, son of the Duke of Bourbon (b. 1311)
  8. James of Bourbon, son of the Duke of Bourbon (b. 1319)
  9. Peter of Clermont, Archdeacon of Paris, son of Robert, Count of Clermont (b. 1287)
  10. Robert of Artois, Count of Beaumont-le-Roger, great-great-grandson of Louis VIII of France (b. 1287)

As described above, Philip of Valois became Philip VI amid some controversy, establishing a pattern (popularly known in the English-speaking world as Salic Law) that would govern the French succession thereafter.

House of Valois 1328-1498[edit]

Philip VI[edit]

At the date of Philip VI's death, August 22, 1350, the line of succession was as follows:

  1. John, Duke of Normandy, Count of Anjou and Maine (b. 1319), Philip VI's eldest son
  2. Charles, Dauphin of Viennois (b. 1338), the Duke of Normandy’s eldest son
  3. Louis (b. 1339), the Duke of Normandy’s younger son
  4. John (b. 1340), the Duke of Normandy’s younger son
  5. Philip (b. 1342), the Duke of Normandy’s youngest son
  6. Philip, Duke of Orléans (b. 1336), Philip VI's youngest son
  7. Charles of Alençon, Count of Alençon (b. 1337), Philip VI's nephew
  8. Philip of Alençon (b. 1338), the Count of Alençon's younger brother
  9. Peter of Alençon (b. 1340), the Count of Alençon's younger brother
  10. Robert of Alençon, Count of Perche (b. 1344), the Count of Alençon's youngest brother

The throne passed smoothly to the first person in line, who became John II.

John II[edit]

At the date of John II's death, April 8, 1364, the line of succession was as follows:

  1. Charles, Dauphin of France (b. 1338), John II's eldest son
  2. John (b. 1359), the Dauphin's son
  3. Louis, Duke of Anjou, Count of Maine (b. 1339), John II's younger son
  4. John, Duke of Berry and Auvergne, Count of Poitou (b. 1340), John II's younger son
  5. Charles of Berry (b. 1362), the Duke of Berry's eldest son
  6. John of Berry (b. 1363), the Duke of Berry's younger son
  7. Louis of Berry (b. 1364), the Duke of Berry's youngest son
  8. Philip, Duke of Burgundy (b. 1342), John II's youngest son
  9. Philip, Duke of Orléans (b. 1336), John II's youngest brother
  10. Charles of Alençon, Count of Alençon (b. 1337), John II's first cousin

The throne passed smoothly to the first person in line, who became Charles V.

Charles V[edit]

At the date of Charles V's death, September 16, 1380, the line of succession was as follows:

  1. Charles, Dauphin of France (b. 1368), Charles V's eldest surviving son
  2. Louis (b. 1372), Charles V's second surviving son
  3. Louis, Duke of Anjou, Count of Maine (b. 1339), Charles V's younger brother
  4. Louis of Anjou (b. 1377), the Duke of Anjou’s son
  5. John, Duke of Berry and Auvergne, Count of Poitou and Angoulême (b. 1340), Charles V's younger brother
  6. Charles of Berry, Count of Montpensier (b. 1362), the Duke of Berry's eldest son
  7. John of Berry (b. 1363), the Duke of Berry's younger son
  8. Louis of Berry (b. 1364), the Duke of Berry's youngest son
  9. Philip, Duke of Burgundy (b. 1342), Charles V's youngest brother
  10. John of Burgundy (b. 1371), the Duke of Burgundy's son

The throne passed smoothly to the first person in line, who became Charles VI.

Charles VI[edit]

In 1420, Charles VI adopted Henry V of England as his heir, displacing his own son the Dauphin, as part of his capitulation to Henry in the Treaty of Troyes. Thus, at the date of Charles VI's death, October 21, 1422, the heir to the throne was:

  1. Henry VI, King of England (b. 1421), only son of Henry V of England, adopted heir of Charles VI

However, the Dauphin still had his supporters. The English were only able to occupy northern France, so the Dauphin withdrew to the south, where his enemies derisively referred to him as "King of the Bourges". At his father's death, on October 21, 1422, the line of succession was as follows (ignoring the Treaty of Troyes):

  1. Charles, Dauphin of France, Duke of Tourraine and Berry, Count of Poitou and Ponthieu (b. 1403), Charles VI's son
  2. Charles of Orléans, Duke of Orléans and Valois, Count of Blois and Beaumont-sur-Oise (b. 1391), Charles VI's nephew
  3. John of Orléans, Count of Angoulême (b. 1404), the Duke of Orléans's younger brother
  4. Louis of Anjou, Duke of Anjou, Count of Maine, Provence, Forcalquier and Piedmont (b. 1403), Charles VI's first cousin once removed
  5. René of Anjou (b. 1408), the Duke of Anjou's younger brother
  6. Charles of Anjou (b. 1414), the Duke of Anjou's youngest brother
  7. Philip of Burgundy, Duke of Burgundy, Count Palatine of Burgundy, Count of Flanders, Artois and Charolais (b. 1396), Charles VI's first cousin once removed
  8. John of Burgundy, Duke of Brabant, Lothier and Limburg, Count of Hainaut, Holland and Zeeland (b. 1403), Charles VI's first cousin once removed
  9. Philip of Burgundy, Count of Saint-Pol and Ligny (b. 1404), the Duke of Brabant's brother
  10. Charles of Burgundy, Count of Nevers and Rethel (b. 1414), Charles VI's first cousin once removed

Eventually, the Dauphin would emerge victorious as Charles VII. From then on, to protect the succession from the intervention of foreigners, it was deemed that the crown could only pass by the sheer force of custom, not by the testament of the king, or by any edict, decree, or treaty. The Hundred Years' War did not end with a peace treaty (which meant that the Treaty of Troyes, though de facto moot, is de jure legal), so the Kings of England continued to style themselves Kings of France.

Charles VII[edit]

At the date of Charles VII's death, July 22, 1461, the line of succession was as follows:

  1. Louis, Dauphin of France (b. 1423), Charles VII's elder son
  2. Charles (b. 1446), Charles VII’s younger son
  3. Charles of Orléans, Duke of Orléans and Valois, Count of Blois and Beaumont-sur-Oise (b. 1391), Charles VII's first cousin
  4. John of Orléans, Count of Angoulême and Périgord (b. 1404), the Duke of Orléans's younger brother
  5. Charles of Orléans (b. 1459), the Count of Angoulême's son
  6. René of Anjou, Duke of Anjou and Bar, Count of Provence (b. 1408), Charles VII's second cousin
  7. John of Anjou, Duke of Lorraine, Marquis of Pont-à-Mousson (b. 1425), the Duke of Anjou's son
  8. Nicholas of Anjou (b. 1448), the Duke of Lorraine's son
  9. Charles of Anjou, Count of Maine, Mortain, Gien and Guise (b. 1414), the Duke of Anjou's brother
  10. Charles of Anjou (b. 1446), the Count of Maine's son

As the Dauphin had been living in exile due to conflict with his father, some thought his brother the Duke of Berry might succeed as King. However, the Dauphin returned after learning of his father's illness, and smoothly became Louis XI.

Louis XI[edit]

At the date of Louis XI's death, August 30, 1483, the line of succession was as follows:

  1. Charles, Dauphin of France (b. 1470), Louis XI's son
  2. Louis of Orléans, Duke of Orléans and Valois, Count of Blois (b. 1462), Louis XI's second cousin
  3. Charles of Orléans, Count of Angoulême (b. 1459), Louis XI's second cousin
  4. John of Burgundy, Count of Nevers, Rethel and Eu (b. 1415), Louis XI's third cousin
  5. René of Alençon, Duke of Alençon, Count of Perche (b. 1454), Louis XI's fourth cousin once removed
  6. John II of Bourbon, Duke of Bourbon and Auvergne, Count of Forez (b. 1427), Louis XI's seventh cousin
  7. Charles, Cardinal of Bourbon (b. 1433), the Duke of Bourbon's younger brother
  8. Peter of Bourbon, Count of La Marche and Clermont-en-Beauvaisis (b. 1438), the Duke of Bourbon's younger brother
  9. Charles of Bourbon, Count of Clermont (b. 1476), the Count of La Marche's son
  10. Louis I of Bourbon, Count of Montpensier (b. 1405) Louis XI's fifth cousin twice removed

The throne passed smoothly to the first person in line, who became Charles VIII.

Charles VIII[edit]

All of Charles' children predeceased him, including his only son Charles Orland, Dauphin of France, who died in 1495 aged 3. At the date of Charles VIII's death, April 7, 1498, the line of succession was as follows:

  1. Louis of Orléans, Duke of Orléans and Valois, Count of Blois (b. 1462), Charles VIII's second cousin once removed
  2. François of Orléans, Count of Angoulême (b. 1492), Charles VIII's third cousin
  3. Charles IV of Alençon, Duke of Alençon, Count of Perche (b. 1489), Charles VIII's fifth cousin once removed
  4. Peter II of Bourbon, Duke of Bourbon and Auvergne, Count of La Marche, Forez, and Clermont-en-Beauvaisis (b. 1438), Charles VIII's sixth cousin twice removed
  5. Charles of Bourbon, Count of Clermont (b. 1476), the Duke of Bourbon's son
  6. Louis II of Bourbon, Count of Montpensier and Clermont-en-Auvergne, Dauphin of Auvergne (b. 1483), Charles VIII's seventh cousin once removed
  7. Charles of Bourbon (b. 1489), the Count of Montpensier's younger brother
  8. François of Bourbon (b. 1492), the Count of Montpensier's youngest brother
  9. Charles of Bourbon, Count of Vendôme (b. 1489), Charles VIII's seventh cousin once removed
  10. François of Bourbon (b. 1491), the Duke of Vendôme's brother

The throne passed smoothly to the first person in line, who became Louis XII.

House of Orléans (Valois cadet branch, 1498–1515)[edit]

Louis XII[edit]

At the date of Louis XII's death, January 1, 1515, the line of succession was as follows:

  1. François of Orléans, Duke of Valois and Brittany, Count of Angoulême (b. 1494), Louis XII's first cousin once removed
  2. Charles IV of Alençon, Duke of Alençon, Count of Perche (b. 1489), Louis XII's fifth cousin
  3. Charles III of Bourbon, Count of Clermont and Montpensier, Dauphin of Auvergne (b. 1490), Louis XII's seventh cousin
  4. François of Bourbon, Duke of Châtellerault (b. 1492), the Count of Clermont's younger brother
  5. Charles of Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme (b. 1489), Louis XII's seventh cousin
  6. Louis of Bourbon, Count of Marle (b. 1514), the Duke of Vendôme's son
  7. François of Bourbon (b. 1491), Louis XII's seventh cousin
  8. Louis of Bourbon, Bishop of Laon (b. 1493), brother of François
  9. Louis of Bourbon, Prince of La Roche-sur-Yon (b. 1473), Louis XII's sixth cousin once removed
  10. Louis of Bourbon (b. 1513), the Prince of La Roche-sur-Yon's son

The throne passed smoothly to the first person in line, who became Francis I.

House of Orléans-Angoulême (1515–1589)[edit]

Francis I[edit]

At the date of Francis I's death, March 31, 1547, the line of succession was as follows:

  1. Henry, Dauphin of France, Duke of Brittany (b. 1519), Francis I's eldest son
  2. Francis (b. 1544), the Dauphin's son
  3. Antoine of Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme (b. 1518), Francis I's eighth cousin
  4. Charles of Bourbon, Bishop of Saintes (b. 1523), the Duke of Vendôme's younger brother
  5. John of Bourbon, Count of Soissons (b. 1528), the Duke of Vendôme's younger brother
  6. Louis I of Bourbon, Prince of Condé (b. 1530), the Duke of Vendôme's youngest brother
  7. Louis of Bourbon, Cardinal, Archbishop of Sens (b. 1493), Francis I's seventh cousin once removed
  8. Louis of Bourbon (b. 1513), Francis I's seventh cousin once removed
  9. François of Bourbon (b. 1542), son of Louis
  10. Charles of Bourbon, Prince of La Roche-sur-Yon (b. 1515), younger brother of Louis

The throne passed smoothly to the first person in line, who became Henry II.

Henry II[edit]

At the date of Henry II's death, July 10, 1559, the line of succession was as follows:

  1. Francis, King consort of Scotland, Dauphin of France (b. 1544), Henry II's eldest son
  2. Charles-Maximillien, Duke of Orléans (b. 1550), Henri II's second son
  3. Alexandre-Édouard, Duke of Angoulême (b. 1551), Henry II's third son
  4. Hercule-François (b. 1555), Henry II's fourth son
  5. Antoine of Bourbon, King of Navarre, Duke of Vendôme (b. 1518), Henry II's eighth cousin once removed
  6. Henri of Bourbon (b. 1553), the Duke of Vendôme's son
  7. Charles, Cardinal de Bourbon, Archbishop of Rouen (b. 1523), the Duke of Vendôme's younger brother
  8. Louis I of Bourbon, Prince of Condé (b. 1530), the Duke of Vendôme's youngest brother
  9. Henri of Bourbon (b. 1552), the Prince of Condé's elder son
  10. François of Bourbon (b. 1558), the Prince of Condé's younger son

The throne passed smoothly to the first person in line, who became Francis II.

Francis II[edit]

At the date of Francis II's death, December 5, 1560, the line of succession was as follows:

  1. Charles-Maximillien, Duke of Orléans (b. 1550), younger brother of Francis II
  2. Alexandre-Édouard, Duke of Angoulême (b. 1551), younger brother of Francis II
  3. Hercule-François (b. 1555), youngest brother of Francis II
  4. Antoine of Bourbon, King of Navarre, Duke of Vendôme (b. 1518), Francis II's eighth cousin twice removed
  5. Henry of Bourbon (b. 1553), the Duke of Vendôme's son
  6. Charles, Cardinal de Bourbon, Archbishop of Rouen (b. 1523), the Duke of Vendôme's younger brother
  7. Louis I of Bourbon, Prince of Condé (b. 1530), the Duke of Vendôme's youngest brother
  8. Henri of Bourbon (b. 1552), the Prince of Condé's elder son
  9. François of Bourbon (b. 1558), the Prince of Condé's younger son
  10. Louis of Bourbon (b. 1513), seventh cousin thrice removed

The throne passed smoothly to the first person in line, who became Charles IX.

Charles IX[edit]

At the date of Charles IX's death, May 30, 1574, the line of succession was as follows:

  1. Henri, King of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania, Duke of Angoulême, Orléans and Anjou (b. 1551), Charles IX's younger brother
  2. Hercule-François, Duke of Alençon, Anjou, Berry and Tourraine, Count of Perche, Meulan and Mantes (b. 1555), Charles IX's youngest brother
  3. Henry III of Bourbon, King of Navarre, Co-Prince of Andorra, Duke of Vendôme (b. 1553), ninth cousin once removed
  4. Charles of Bourbon, Cardinal, Archbishop of Rouen (b. 1523), eighth cousin twice removed
  5. Henri I of Bourbon, Prince of Condé (b. 1552), ninth cousin once removed
  6. François of Bourbon (b. 1558), the Prince of Condé's younger brother
  7. Charles of Bourbon (b. 1562), the Prince of Condé's younger brother
  8. Charles of Bourbon, Count of Soissons (b. 1566), the Prince of Condé's youngest brother
  9. Louis III of Bourbon, Duke of Montpensier (b. 1513), seventh cousin thrice removed
  10. François of Bourbon (b. 1542), the Duke of Montpensier's son

The throne passed smoothly to the first person in line, who became Henry III.

Henry III[edit]

At the date of Henry III's death, August 2, 1589, the line of succession was as follows:

  1. Henry III of Bourbon, King of Navarre, Co-Prince of Andorra, Duke of Vendôme (b. 1553), ninth cousin once removed
  2. Charles of Bourbon, Cardinal, Archbishop of Rouen (b. 1523), eighth cousin twice removed
  3. Henri II of Bourbon, Prince of Condé (b. 1588), tenth cousin
  4. François of Bourbon, Prince of Conti (b. 1558), ninth cousin once removed
  5. Charles of Bourbon (b. 1562), the Prince of Conti's younger brother
  6. Charles of Bourbon, Count of Soissons (b. 1566), the Prince of Conti's youngest brother
  7. François of Bourbon, Duke of Montpensier (b. 1542), eighth cousin twice removed
  8. Henri of Bourbon, Prince of the Dombes (b. 1573), the Duke of Montpensier's son

There was intense opposition to the succession of Henry of Navarre due to his Protestant religion. As part of the ongoing French Wars of Religion, the Catholic League argued that Henry's religion disqualified him from the throne and championed Charles of Bourbon (who himself refused to oppose his nephew's claim). After the Cardinal's death in 1590, several claimants appeared, yet most of France gradually accepted Henry of Navarre except the capital, Paris, until he converted to Catholicism in 1593 and was thus able to consolidate his power, being crowned Henry IV in 1594.

House of Bourbon (1589–1792)[edit]

Henry IV[edit]

At the date of Henry IV's death, May 14, 1610, the line of succession was as follows:

  1. Louis, Dauphin of France (b. 1601), Henry IV's eldest son
  2. Nicholas Henri, Duke of Orléans (b. 1607), Henry IV's middle son
  3. Gaston, Duke of Anjou (b. 1608), Henry IV's youngest son
  4. Henri de Bourbon, Prince of Condé (b. 1588), Henry IV's first cousin once removed
  5. François de Bourbon, Prince of Conti (b. 1558), Henry IV's first cousin
  6. Charles de Bourbon, Count of Soissons (b. 1566), the Prince of Conti's younger brother
  7. Louis de Bourbon (b. 1604), the Count of Soissons's son

The throne passed smoothly to the first person in line, who became Louis XIII.

The House of Courtenay claimed a place in the line of succession after those named above, as they were descended in legitimate male-line from Louis VI. However, the Bourbons consistently denied the Courtenays' petitions to be recognized as princes of the blood, recognizing only the male-line descendants of Louis IX as dynasts. The last Courtenay died in 1727.

Louis XIII[edit]

At the date of Louis XIII's death, May 14, 1643, the line of succession was as follows:

  1. Louis, Dauphin of France (b. 1638), Louis XIII's elder son
  2. Philippe, Duke of Anjou (b. 1640), Louis XIII's younger son
  3. Gaston, Duke of Orléans (b. 1608), Louis XIII's youngest brother
  4. Henri de Bourbon, Prince of Condé (b. 1588), Louis XIII's second cousin
  5. Louis de Bourbon, Duke of Enghien (b. 1621), the Prince of Condé's elder son
  6. Armand de Bourbon, Prince of Conti (b. 1629), the Prince of Condé's younger son

The throne passed smoothly to the first person in line, who became Louis XIV.

Treaty of Utrecht[edit]

When the Spanish king Charles II died, his closest heir was Louis, the Grand Dauphin, son of Louis XIV, King of France. Charles knew that the other European powers would oppose the union of France and Spain. Thus, in his will, Charles named Philip, Duke of Anjou, second son of the Grand Dauphin (and thus, the first person not in the direct line of succession to the French throne) as his heir.

France and Spain fought the other major European powers in the War of the Spanish Succession. The war ended with the Treaty of Utrecht which required that Philip, in order to retain the throne of Spain in his lineage and for Louis XIV to obtain peace for France, renounce for himself and his descendants any right of succession to the French throne, thereby preventing the crowns of France and Spain from being united on the head of a single Bourbon king. Despite doubts in France as to whether the Treaty was binding,[1] Louis XIV and the other European powers ratified it and the Parlement of Paris registered it. The problem with this arrangement is that the succession to the throne is part of the fundamental laws of the realm, a set of principles not subject to the legislative powers of the king. The fundamental laws guard against this very kind of danger - that of a king, defeated in war, agreeing to disinherit an heir at the insistence of his enemies. In 1420, the Treaty of Troyes attempted to disinherit the heir to the French throne. It failed, even though the treaty had been ratified by the Estates-General of France. Because of its similar name, the Parlement of Paris had been misunderstood to be the equivalent of the English Parliament. It was in fact, more of a judicial body tasked with the registration of royal edicts. The Estates-General, on the other hand, represented the three estates of the realm, and had the power to approve taxation (under the Valois) and to elect a new king (considered a possibility against the Protestantism of Henry IV). The ratification of the Treaty of Troyes by the Estates-General failed to divert the succession. It necessarily follows that the registration of a treaty in Parlement (a lesser body), with the intent of changing the succession to the throne, would not be binding as well. In fact, the only method that succeeded in breaking the fundamental laws is the destruction of the regime itself.

Still, the Treaty of Utrecht is part of the conflicting claims between Legitimists (descendants of Philip V, who deem the Treaty of Utrecht invalid) and Orléanists (descendants of Philippe, Duke of Orléans, who claim their right of succession based on the Treaty of Utrecht and the residence abroad of Philip and his heirs as kings of Spain).

Louis XIV[edit]

The succession to Louis XIV changed upon the deaths of his eldest son Louis, le Grand Dauphin, the Grand Dauphin's eldest son Louis, Duke of Burgundy, and Burgundy's eldest son Louis, Duke of Brittany, all in 1711–1712.

At the date of Louis XIV's death, September 1, 1715, the line of succession was as follows:

  1. Louis, Dauphin of France (b. 1710), Louis XIV's great-grandson, younger son of Louis, Duke of Burgundy
    (Philip V of Spain (b.1683) and his descendants would rank here, if the Treaty of Utrecht were to be considered invalid.)

The throne passed smoothly to the first person in line, who became Louis XV.

In July 1714, Louis XIV, at the persistent behest of Madame de Maintenon, issued an edict inserting his two surviving illegitimate sons, Louis Auguste, Duke of Maine (b.1670) and Louis Alexandre, Count of Toulouse (b.1678), and those of their descendants born in the legitimate male-line, into the order of succession to the crown immediately following all other Princes of the Blood Royal of the House of Bourbon. That act was registered in the Parlement of Paris 1 August 1714.[2] However, the edict was revoked nearly two years after his death, 8 July 1717, by the Parlement of Paris at the direction of the regent Philippe d'Orléans, Duke of Orléans, in the name of the minor Louis XV, on the grounds that it would prejudice the rights and decision of the French nation in its choice of a king in the event of extinction of the reigning dynasty, contrary to the nation's fundamental laws.[2]

Louis XV[edit]

The succession to Louis XV changed upon the death of his son Louis, Dauphin of France in 1765. At the date of Louis XV's death, May 10, 1774, the line of succession was as follows:

  1. Louis Auguste, Dauphin of France (b. 1754), Louis XV's eldest grandson
  2. Louis Stanislaus, Count of Provence (b. 1755), Louis XV's younger grandson
  3. Charles Philippe, Count of Artois (b. 1757), Louis XV's youngest grandson
    (Charles III of Spain (b.1716) and other descendants of Philip V of Spain would rank here, if the Treaty of Utrecht were to be considered invalid.)

The throne passed smoothly to the first person in line, who became Louis XVI.

Louis XVI[edit]

At the date of Louis XVI's deposition and the proclamation of the First Republic, September 21, 1792, the line of succession was as follows:

  1. Louis Charles, Prince Royal of France (b. 1785), Louis XVI's son
  2. Louis Stanislaus, Count of Provence (b. 1755), Louis XVI's third brother
  3. Charles Philippe, Count of Artois (b. 1757), Louis XVI's brother
  4. Louis Antoine d'Artois, Duke of Angoulême (b. 1775), the Count of Artois's elder son
  5. Charles Ferdinand d'Artois, Duke of Berry (b. 1778), the Count of Artois's younger son
    (Charles IV of Spain (b.1748) and other descendants of Philip V of Spain would rank here, if the Treaty of Utrecht were to be considered invalid.)

Louis XVI remained the claimant to the throne until his execution on January 21, 1793, after which his imprisoned son and then his brother were recognized by monarchists as the rightful king.

House of Bonaparte (1804–1815)[edit]

Napoléon I[edit]

On the dates of Napoléon I's first abdication, April 6, 1814, and his second abdication, June 22, 1815, the line of succession was as follows:

  1. Napoléon, King of Rome (b. 1811), Napoléon I's son
  2. Joseph, Prince Français (b. 1768), Napoléon I's eldest brother
  3. Louis, Prince Français (b. 1778), Napoléon I's third brother
  4. Napoléon Louis, Prince Français (b. 1804), Louis's second son
  5. Charles Louis-Napoléon, Prince Français (b. 1808), Louis's youngest son

At the date of Napoléon II's abdication, July 7, 1815, the line of succession was as follows:

  1. Joseph, Prince Français (b. 1768), Napoléon II's eldest uncle
  2. Louis, Prince Français (b. 1778), Napoléon II's third uncle
  3. Napoléon Louis, Prince Français (b. 1804), Louis's second son
  4. Charles Louis-Napoléon, Prince Français (b. 1808), Louis's youngest son

In both events, the senior living representative of the Bourbon line was Louis-Stanislaus, Count of Provence (b. 1755), Louis XVI's third brother, who became Louis XVIII, while Napoléon I continued to claim the Bonaparte legacy.

House of Bourbon (restored, 1815-1830)[edit]

Louis XVIII[edit]

At the date of Louis XVIII's death, September 16, 1824, the line of succession was as follows:

  1. Charles Philippe, Count of Artois (b. 1757), Louis XVIII's brother
  2. Louis Antoine d'Artois, Duke of Angouléme (b. 1775), the Count of Artois's eldest son
  3. Henri d'Artois, Duke of Bordeaux (b. 1820), the Duke of Angouléme's nephew
    (Ferdinand VII of Spain (b.1784) and other descendants of Philip V of Spain would rank here, if the Treaty of Utrecht were to be considered invalid.)

The throne passed smoothly to the first person in line, who became Charles X.

The recognised living representative of the Bonaparte line was François, Duke of Reichstadt (b. 1811), Napoléon I's only legitimate son.

Charles X[edit]

At the date of Charles X's abdication, August 2, 1830, the line of succession was as follows:

  1. Louis Antoine, Prince Royal, Dauphin of France, Duke of Angoulême (b. 1775), Charles X's eldest son
  2. Henri d'Artois, Duke of Bordeaux (b. 1820), the Dauphin's nephew
    (Ferdinand VII of Spain (b.1784) and other descendants of Philip V of Spain would rank here, if the Treaty of Utrecht were to be considered invalid.)

Charles X continued to claim his right to the throne, which passed de facto to the Duke of Orléans as Louis-Philippe I.

The recognised living representative of the Bonaparte line was François, Duke of Reichstadt (b. 1811), Napoléon I's only legitimate son.

House of Orléans (Bourbon cadet branch, 1830–1848)[edit]

Louis Philippe I[edit]

At the date of Louis Philippe I's abdication and the proclamation of the Second Republic, February 24, 1848, the line of succession was as follows:

  1. Louis Philippe of Orléans, Count of Paris, Prince Royal (b. 1838) Louis Philippe I's grandson
  2. Robert of Orléans, Duke of Chartres (b. 1840), the Count of Paris's younger brother
  3. Louis of Orléans, Duke of Nemours (b. 1814), Louis Philippe I's second son
  4. Gaston of Orléans, Count of Eu (b. 1842), the Duke of Nemours's first son
  5. Ferdinand of Orléans, Duke of Alençon (b. 1844), the Duke of Nemours's second son
  6. François of Orléans, Prince of Joinville (b. 1818), Louis Philippe I's third son
  7. Pierre of Orléans, Duke of Penthiévre (b. 1845), the Prince of Joinville's son
  8. Henri of Orléans, Duke of Aumale (b. 1822), Louis Philippe I's fifth son
  9. Louis Philippe of Orléans, Prince of Condé (b. 1845), Prince Henri of Orléans's son

The senior living representative of the Bourbon line was Henri, Count of Chambord (b. 1820), grandson of Charles X.

The senior living representative of the Bonaparte line was Louis, Prince Napoléon (b. 1808), nephew of Napoléon I.

House of Bonaparte (restored, 1852–1870)[edit]

Napoléon III[edit]

At the date of Napoléon III's abdication and the proclamation of the Third Republic, September 4, 1870, the line of succession was as follows:

  1. Napoléon, Prince Imperial (b. 1856), Napoléon III's son
  2. Napoléon Joseph, Prince Français (b. 1822), Napoleon III's first cousin
  3. Napoléon Victor Jérôme Frédéric, Prince Français (b. 1862), Napoléon Joseph's son
  4. Napoléon Louis Joseph Jérôme, Prince Français (b. 1864), Napoléon Joseph's second son

Napoléon III continued to represent his dynasty's claim to the imperial throne, which passed de facto upon his death in 1873 to his son, Louis, Prince Napoléon (b. 1856).

The senior living representative of the Bourbon line was Henri, Count of Chambord (b. 1820), grandson of Charles X.

The senior living representative of the Orléans line was Philippe, Count of Paris (b. 1838), grandson of Louis-Philippe I.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Guy Stair Sainty. "The French Legitimist Case". 
  2. ^ a b François-André Isambert, Decrusy, Alphonse-Honoré Taillandier. Recueil général des anciennes lois françaises. Tomes XX, XXI. Belin-Leprieur, Paris, 1830. Tome XX, pp. 619-624. Tome XXI, pp. 144-148.