List of heirs to the French throne

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Coat of Arms of the Dauphin of France, a title used by the heir-apparent to the French throne from 1350 to 1791, and from 1824 to 1830.

The following is a list of the heirs to the throne of the Kingdom of France, that is, those who were legally next in line to assume the throne upon the death of the King.

From 987 to 1792, all heirs to the French throne were male-line descendants of Hugh Capet.

Capetian associate kings[edit]

The crown of France under the earliest Capetian monarchs was elective, not hereditary. There was no mechanism for automatic succession unless an heir was crowned as associate king, ready to step up as primary king when the previous king died. This procedure was very similar to the method by which the Germans elected a King of the Romans during the lifetime of the German monarch. The early Capetians generally made sure their sons were crowned as associate kings with them, with such success that the inheritance of the eldest son and heir to the kingship came to be accepted as a matter of right. Louis VI of France was the first king to take the throne without having been crowned in his father's time; however, his right to take the throne was initially contested.

Co-king Relationship
to Monarch
Crowned Co-kingship ceased Reason Monarch
Robert (II) son 30 December 987 24 October 996 became sole king Hugh Capet
Hugh Magnus son 19 June 1017 17 September 1025 died Robert II of France
Henry (I) son 14 May 1027 20 July 1031 became sole king
Philip (I) son 23 May 1059 4 August 1060 became sole king Henry I of France
Philip son 14 April 1129 13 October 1131 died Louis VI of France
Louis (VII) son 25 October 1131 1 August 1137 became sole king
Philip (II) son 1 November 1179 18 September 1180 became sole king Louis VII of France

Capetian heirs by Salic succession I[edit]

Heraldic crown of the Dauphin of France.

After the ascension of Philip II of France, the throne became de jure as well as de facto hereditary, so that on the death of the king, the legal heir became king immediately, and could exercise authority without coronation. The throne passed to the closest male heir.

Heirs who actually succeeded are shown in bold type. From 1350 on, the heir apparent to the French throne was styled Dauphin. Heirs so styled are accompanied on the table below by an image of the Dauphin's coat of arms. The title was abandoned in 1791 in favor of the style Prince Royal, less than a year before the abolition of the monarchy.

Heir Status Relationship to Monarch Became heir Ceased to be heir Next in succession
relation to heir, dates
Monarch
Date Reason Date Reason
Louis heir apparent son 5 September 1187 born 14 July 1223 became king succession uncertain (1187-1209)[1] Philip II of France
Philip
son (1209-1218)
Louis
son (1218-1223)
Louis heir apparent son 14 July 1223 father became king 8 November 1226 became king Robert I of Artois
brother (1223-1226)
Louis VIII of France
Robert I of Artois heir presumptive brother 8 November 1226 brother became king 25 February 1244 birth of heir Jean Tristan
brother (1226-1232)
Louis IX of France
Alfonso, Count of Poitou
brother (1232-1244)
Louis heir apparent son 25 February 1244 born January 1260 died Robert I of Artois
uncle (1244-1245)
Philip
brother (1245-1260)
Philip heir apparent son January 1260 brother died 25 August 1270 became king Jean Tristan
brother (1260-1264)
Louis
son (1264-1270)
Louis heir apparent son 25 August 1270 father became king May 1276 died Philip
brother (1270-1276)
Philip III of France
Philip heir apparent son May 1276 brother died 5 October 1285 became king Charles, Count of Valois
brother (1276-1285)
Charles, Count of Valois heir presumptive brother 5 October 1285 brother became king 4 October 1289 son born to king Robert, Count of Clermont
uncle (1285-1289)
Philip IV of France
Louis heir apparent son 4 October 1289 born 29 November 1314 became king Charles, Count of Valois
uncle (1289-1292)
Philip, Count of Poitou
brother (1292-1314)
Philip of Poitou heir presumptive brother/
uncle
29 November 1314 brother became king 20 November 1316 became king Philip
son (1314-1316)
Louis X of France
John I of France[2]
Philip heir apparent son 20 November 1316 father became king 24 March 1321 died Louis
brother (1316-1317)
Philip V of France
Charles, Count of La Marche
uncle (1317-1321)
Charles of La Marche heir presumptive brother 24 March 1321 king's son died 3 January 1322 became king Philip
son (1321-1322)
Philip heir apparent son 3 January 1322 father became king 24 March 1322 died Charles, Count of Valois
great-uncle (1322)
Charles IV of France
Charles of Valois heir presumptive uncle 24 March 1322 king's son died March 1324 son born to king Philip
son (1322-1324)
Louis heir apparent son March 1324 born March 1324 died Charles, Count of Valois
great-uncle (1324)
Charles of Valois heir presumptive uncle March 1324 king's son died 16 December 1325 died Philip
son (1324-1325)
Philip of Valois heir presumptive 1st cousin 16 December 1325 father died 29 May 1328 became king John
son (1325-1328)
John heir apparent son 29 May 1328 father became king 22 August 1350 became king Charles II, Count of Alençon
uncle (1328-1330)
Philip VI of France
Louis
brother (1330)
Charles II of Alençon
uncle (1330-1333)
John
brother (1333)
Charles II of Alençon
uncle (1333-1336)
Philip, Duke of Orléans
brother (1336-1338)
Charles
son (1338-1350)
Arms of the Dauphin of France.svg Charles heir apparent son 22 August 1350 father became king 8 April 1364 became king Louis, Count of Anjou
brother (1350-1359)
John II of France
John
son (1359-? bef. 1364)
Louis, Duke of Anjou
brother (?-1364)
Louis, Duke of Anjou heir presumptive brother 8 April 1364 brother became king 7 June 1366 son born to king John, Duke of Berry
brother (1364-1366)
Charles V of France
Arms of the Dauphin of France.svg John heir apparent son 7 June 1366 born 21 December 1366 died Louis, Duke of Anjou
uncle (1366)
Louis, Duke of Anjou heir presumptive brother 21 December 1366 king's son died 3 December 1368 son born to king John, Duke of Berry
brother (1366-1368)
Arms of the Dauphin of France.svg Charles heir apparent son 3 December 1368 born 16 September 1380 became king Louis, Duke of Anjou
uncle (1368-1372)
Louis
brother (1372-1380)
Louis I, Duke of Orléans heir presumptive brother 16 September 1380 brother became king 25 September 1386 son born to king Louis I of Naples
uncle (1380-1384)
Charles VI of France
Louis II of Naples
1st cousin (1384-1386)
Arms of the Dauphin of France.svg Charles heir apparent son 25 September 1386 born 28 December 1386 died Louis I, Duke of Orléans
uncle
Louis I, Duke of Orléans heir presumptive brother 28 December 1386 king's son died 6 February 1392 son born to king Louis II of Naples
1st cousin (1386-1392)
Arms of the Dauphin of France.svg Charles heir apparent son 6 February 1392 born 13 January 1401 died Louis I, Duke of Orléans
uncle (1392-1397)
Louis
brother (1397-1401)
Arms of the Dauphin of France.svg Louis heir apparent son 13 January 1401 brother died 18 December 1415 died John
brother (1401-1415)
Arms of the Dauphin of France.svg John heir apparent son 18 December 1415 brother died 5 April 1417 died Charles
brother (1415-1417)
Arms of the Dauphin of France.svg Charles heir apparent son 5 April 1417 brother died 21 October 1422 became king[3] Charles, Duke of Orléans
1st cousin (1417-1422)

Lancastrian succession[edit]

On March 21, 1420, the government of Charles VI was obliged to sign the Treaty of Troyes, which provided a legal framework for the transfer of power to Henry V, King of England, who had invaded and occupied northern France, including Paris. Under the treaty, Henry, who was to marry Charles' daughter Catherine, was named as "Heir of France" and the Dauphin Charles was disinherited. The treaty was not recognized by those factions which were still at war with England, and only had legal force in English-occupied territory and, more briefly, in the Burgundian lands (1420-1435) and in Brittany.

Heir Status Relationship to Monarch Became heir Ceased to be heir Next in succession
relation to heir, dates
Monarch
Date Reason Date Reason
Henry V, King of England heir apparent son-in-law 21 May 1420 treaty 31 August 1422 died Thomas, Duke of Clarence
brother, 1420-1421
Charles VI
John, Duke of Bedford
brother, Mar.-Dec. 1421
Henry, Duke of Cornwall
son, 1421-1422
Henry VI, King of England heir apparent grandson 31 August 1422 father died 21 October 1422 became king John, Duke of Bedford
uncle, Aug.-Oct. 1422
John, Duke of Bedford
Regent of France 1422-1435
heir presumptive uncle 21 October 1422 nephew became king 14 September 1435 died Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester
brother, 1422-1435
Henry (II)
Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester heir presumptive uncle 14 September 1435 brother died 23 February 1447 died succession uncertain

Capetian heirs by Salic succession II[edit]

In southern France, the treaty of Troyes was never regarded as valid, and Charles VII was considered to have become king upon his father's death. Given his repudiation by his father, however, his status remained uncertain until his coronation at Reims on 17 July 1429. In the following two decades Charles VII regained control of most of France; the English were finally expelled from Guienne on 19 October 1453, retaining only the port of Calais.

Heir Status Relationship to Monarch Became heir Ceased to be heir Next in succession
relation to heir, dates
Monarch
Date Reason Date Reason
Charles d'Orléans heir presumptive 1st cousin 21 October 1422 cousin became king 3 July 1423 son born to king John, Count of Angoulême
brother (1422–1423)
Charles VII of France
Arms of the Dauphin of France.svg Louis heir apparent son 3 July 1423 born 22 July 1461 became king Charles d'Orléans
1st cousin +1 (1423–1424)
John
brother (1424–1425)
Charles d'Orléans
1st cousin +1 (1425–1432)
Jacques
brother (1432–1438)
Charles d'Orléans
1st cousin +1 (1438–1446)
Charles, Duke of Berry
brother (1446–1458)
Louis
son (1458–1460)
Charles de Berry
brother (1460–1461)
Charles de Berry heir presumptive brother 22 July 1461 brother became king 4 December 1466 son born to king Charles d'Orléans
1st cousin +1 (1461–1465)
Louis XI of France
Louis, Duke of Orléans
2nd cousin (1465–1466)
Arms of the Dauphin of France.svg Francis heir apparent son 4 December 1466 born 4 December 1466 died Charles de Berry
Charles de Berry heir presumptive brother 4 December 1466 king's son died 30 June 1470 son born to king Louis d'Orléans
2nd cousin (1466–1470)
Arms of the Dauphin of France.svg Charles heir apparent son 30 June 1470 born 30 August 1483 became king Charles de Berry
uncle (1470–May 1472)
Louis d'Orléans
2nd cousin +1 (May–Sept 1472)
Francis
brother (Sept 1472–Jul 1473)
Louis d'Orléans
2nd cousin +1 (1473–1483)
Louis d'Orléans heir presumptive 2nd cousin 1ce removed 30 August 1483 cousin became king 11 October 1492 son born to king Charles, Count of Angoulême
1st cousin (1483–1492)
Charles VIII of France
Arms of the Dauphin of France.svg Charles–Orland heir apparent son 11 October 1492 born 6 December 1495 died Louis d'Orléans
2nd cousin +2 (1492–1495)
Louis d'Orléans heir presumptive 2nd cousin 1ce removed 6 December 1495 king's son died 8 September 1496 son born to king Charles of Angoulême
1st cousin (1495–Jan 1496)
Francis, Count of Angoulême
1st cousin +1 (Jan–Sep 1496)
Arms of the Dauphin of France.svg Charles heir apparent son 8 September 1496 born 2 October 1496 died Louis d'Orléans
2nd cousin +2 (Sep–Oct 1496)
Louis d'Orléans heir presumptive 2nd cousin +1 2 October 1496 king's son died July 1497 son born to king Francis of Angoulême
1st cousin +1 (1496–1497)
Arms of the Dauphin of France.svg Francis heir apparent son July 1497 born early 1498 died Louis d'Orléans
2nd cousin +2 (1497–1498)
Louis d'Orléans heir presumptive 2nd cousin +1 early 1498 king's son died 7 April 1498 became king Francis of Angoulême
1st cousin +1 (1498)
Francis of Angoulême heir presumptive 1st cousin +1 7 April 1498 cousin became king 1 January 1515 became king Charles IV, Duke of Alençon
5th cousin+1 (1498–1515)
Louis XII of France
Charles of Alençon heir presumptive 5th cousin –1 1 January 1515 cousin became king 28 February 1518 son born to king Charles III, Duke of Bourbon
7th cousin (1515–1518)
Francis I of France
Arms of the Dauphin of France.svg Francis heir apparent son 28 February 1518 born 10 August 1536 died Charles of Alençon
5th cousin +2 (1518–1519)
Henry
brother (1519–1536)
Arms of the Dauphin of France.svg Henry heir apparent son 10 August 1536 king's son died 31 March 1547 became king Charles, Duke of Orléans
brother (1536–1544)
Francis
son (1544–1547)
Arms of the Dauphin of France.svg Francis heir apparent son 31 March 1547 father became king 10 July 1559 became king Antoine, Duke of Vendôme
8th cousin –2 (1547–1549)
Henry II of France
Louis, Duke of Orléans
brother (Feb 1549 – Oct 1549)
Antoine of Vendôme
8th cousin –2 (1549–1550)
Charles
brother (1550–1559)
Charles heir presumptive brother 10 July 1559 brother became king 5 December 1560 became king Henry III of France
brother (1559–1560)
Francis II of France
Henry heir presumptive brother 5 December 1560 brother became king 30 May 1574 became king Hercules Francis, Duke of Anjou
brother (1560–1574)
Charles IX of France
Francis of Anjou heir presumptive brother 30 May 1574 brother became king 19 June 1584 died Henry of Navarre
9th cousin –1 (1574–1584)
Henry III of France
Henry of Navarre heir presumptive 9th cousin +1 19 June 1584 king's brother died 2 August 1589 became king Charles, Cardinal de Bourbon
uncle (1584–1589)
Charles, Cardinal Bourbon heir presumptive uncle 2 August 1589 nephew became king 9 May 1590 died Henry, prince of Condé
great–grandnephew (1589–1590)
Henry IV of France
Henry de Condé heir presumptive 1st cousin +2 9 May 1590 great–granduncle died 27 September 1601 son born to king Francis, prince of Conti
uncle (1590–1601)
Arms of the Dauphin of France.svg Louis heir apparent son 27 September 1601 born 14 May 1610 became king Henry de Condé
2nd cousin+1 (1601–1607)
Nicolas Henry, Duke of Orléans
brother (1607–1610)
Nicolas Henry, Duke of Orléans heir presumptive brother 14 May 1610 brother became king 17 November 1611 died Gaston, Duke of Orléans
brother (1610–1611)
Louis XIII of France
Gaston, Duke of Orléans heir presumptive brother 17 November 1611 brother died 5 September 1638 son born to king Henry de Condé
2nd cousin +1 (1611–1638)
Arms of the Dauphin of France.svg Louis heir apparent son 5 September 1638 born 14 May 1643 became king Gaston d'Orléans
uncle (1638–1640)
Philippe, Duke of Orléans
brother (1640–1643)
Philippe de France heir presumptive brother 14 May 1643 brother became king 1 November 1661 son born to king Gaston d'Orléans
uncle (1643–1660)
Louis XIV of France
Louis, Prince de Condé
3rd cousin +1 (1660–1661)
Arms of the Dauphin of France.svg Louis
Le Grand Dauphin
heir apparent son 1 November 1661 born 14 April 1711 died Philippe de France
uncle (1661–1668)
Philip Charles, Duke of Anjou
brother (1668–1671)
Philippe de France
uncle (1671–1672)
Louis François, Duke of Anjou
brother (Jun–Nov 1672)
Philippe de France
uncle (1672–1682)
Louis, Duke of Burgundy
son (1682–1711)
Arms of the Dauphin of France.svg Louis
Le Petit Dauphin
heir apparent grandson 14 April 1711 father died 18 February 1712 died Louis, Duke of Brittany
son
Arms of the Dauphin of France.svg Louis heir apparent great–grandson 18 February 1712 father died 8 March 1712 died Louis
brother
Arms of the Dauphin of France.svg Louis heir apparent great–grandson 8 March 1712 brother died 1 September 1715 became king Philip V of Spain
uncle (March–July 1712)[4]
Charles, Duke of Berry
uncle (July 1712–May 1714)
Philippe d'Orléans
1st cousin –2 (1714–1715)
Philippe d'Orléans
Regent of France
1715–1723
heir presumptive 1st cousin –2 1 September 1715 cousin became king 2 December 1723 died Louis d'Orléans
son (1715–1723)
Louis XV of France
Louis d'Orléans heir presumptive 2nd cousin –1 2 December 1723 father died 4 September 1729 son born to king Louis Henry, Prince de Condé
5th cousin +2 (1723–1725)
Louis Philippe d'Orléans
son (1725–1729)
Arms of the Dauphin of France.svg Louis heir apparent son 4 September 1729 born 20 December 1765 died Louis d'Orléans
2nd cousin –2 (1729–1730)
Philip
brother (1730–1733)
Louis d'Orléans
2nd cousin –2 (1733–1751)
Louis
son (1751–1761)
Louis–Auguste
son (1761–1765)
Arms of the Dauphin of France.svg Louis–Auguste heir apparent grandson 20 December 1765 father died 10 May 1774 became king Louis, Count of Provence
brother (1765–1774)
Louis, Count of Provence heir presumptive brother 10 May 1774 brother became king 22 October 1781 son born to king Charles, Count of Artois
brother (1774–1781)
Louis XVI of France
Arms of the Dauphin of France.svg Louis Joseph heir apparent son 22 October 1781 born 4 June 1789 died Louis, Count of Provence
uncle (1781–1785)
Louis–Charles
brother (1785–1789)
Arms of the Dauphin of France.svg Louis Charles heir apparent son 4 June 1789 brother died 21 September 1792 monarchy abolished Louis, Count of Provence
uncle (1789–1792)

Following the abolition of the monarchy of France by the French National Convention, Louis XVI and his family were held in confinement. Louis XVI was found guilty by the Convention of treason against the state, and was executed on 21 January 1793. The Dauphin Louis–Charles was thereafter proclaimed "Louis XVII of France" by French royalists, but was kept confined and never reigned. He died of illness on 8 June 1795.

Louis–Stanislas–Xavier, Count of Provence, was subsequently proclaimed "Louis XVIII", but was in exile from France and powerless.

Bonaparte succession: First Empire[edit]

France passed through a series of Republican régimes until a hereditary monarchy was restored in the person of Napoleon Bonaparte, who was proclaimed hereditary Emperor of the French on 20 May 1804. The succession law promulgated at the same time also demanded a Salic succession, in which Napoleon was to be succeeded by, first, his own legitimate offspring, then his elder brother Joseph Bonaparte and his descendants, and finally his younger brother Louis Bonaparte and his descendants.[5] (Napoleon's other brothers were omitted for various reasons.) The title of the heir apparent of the First Empire was King of Rome.

Heir Status Relationship to Monarch Became heir Ceased to be heir Next in succession
relation to heir, dates
Monarch
Date Reason Date Reason
Joseph Bonaparte heir presumptive elder brother 20 May 1804 Empire proclaimed 20 March 1811 son born to Emperor Louis Bonaparte
brother (1804-1811)
Napoleon I of France
Napoleon Francis
King of Rome
heir apparent son 20 March 1811 born 6 April 1814 abdication of Napoleon I
end of the Empire
Joseph Bonaparte
uncle (1811-1814)

Napoleon I was defeated by an alliance of most of the other European powers, and abdicated unconditionally, for himself and his son, on 6 April 1814 (an abdication given legal force by a treaty with the Allies dated 11 April 1814) and went into exile.

Restored Bourbon succession I[edit]

On 6 April 1814, the Senate of the French Empire summoned Louis Stanislas Xavier, Count of Provence—already styling himself "Louis XVIII"—to become head of a restored, but constitutional, French monarchy. Louis' younger brother, Charles, Count of Artois, came to Paris on 12 April and was appointed Lieutenant-General of the realm; Louis himself returned on 3 May, and on 4 June he authorized the publication of a constitution for France (the Charter of 1814) by which he became a constitutional monarch. With the acceptance of this constitution we can say that the monarchy was resumed, although by royalist principles the Republican and Imperial governments of 1792-1814 had all been illegitimate, and the monarchy itself had never ceased.

Heir Status Relationship to Monarch Became heir Ceased to be heir Next in succession
relation to heir, dates
Monarch
Date Reason Date Reason
Charles, Count of Artois heir presumptive brother 4 June 1814 brother became king 19 March 1815 fall of royal government Louis-Antoine, Duke of Angoulême
son (1814-1815)
Louis XVIII of France

On 1 March 1815, however, Napoleon returned to France. With Napoleon I within miles of the capital, Louis XVIII and all his family fled Paris on 19 March, and for the next several months they remained in exile, until the victory of Waterloo allowed them to return.

Restored Bonaparte succession[edit]

On 20 March Napoleon entered Paris and once again proclaimed the Empire. Although the Imperial Constitution was amended in a more democratic direction, the hereditary office of Emperor and the succession laws remained unchanged.

Heir Status Relationship to Monarch Became heir Ceased to be heir Next in succession
relation to heir, dates
Monarch
Date Reason Date Reason
Napoleon Francis
King of Rome
heir apparent son 20 March 1815 Empire re-proclaimed 22 June 1815 nominally became Emperor Joseph Bonaparte
uncle (Mar-Jun 1815)
Napoleon I of France
Joseph Bonaparte heir presumptive uncle 22 June 1815 nephew became Emperor 7 July 1815 end of Empire Louis Bonaparte
brother (Jun-Jul 1815)
Napoleon II of France

This restored First Empire lasted until 22 June 1815, when Napoleon abdicated again, this time in favor of a regency on behalf of his son (who had been separated from his father in 1814 and was living in Vienna, Austria). The nominal reign of Napoleon II lasted no longer than until 7 July 1815, when an Allied army occupied Paris. Napoleon I was now exiled to the Atlantic island of St. Helena, where he died a prisoner 5 May 1821. Napoleon II continued to live under close observation in Vienna until he died of tuberculosis 22 July 1832. Neither Joseph nor Louis Bonaparte ever made any effort on behalf of the imperial claims that had descended to them.

Restored Bourbon succession II[edit]

On July 8 Louis XVIII returned to Paris. Government was resumed under the 1814 Constitution as before.

Heir Status Relationship to Monarch Became heir Ceased to be heir Next in succession
relation to heir, dates
Monarch
Date Reason Date Reason
Charles, Count of Artois heir presumptive brother 8 July 1815 resumption of royal government 16 September 1824 became king Louis-Antoine, Duke of Angoulême
son (1815-1824)
Louis XVIII of France
Arms of the Dauphin of France.svg Louis-Antoine, Duke of Angoulême heir apparent son 16 September 1824 father became king 2 August 1830 father abdicated Henry, Duke of Bordeaux
nephew (1824-1830)
Charles X of France

Charles X's attempt in July 1830 to suspend the Charter of 1814 prompted a revolution. After several days of violence at the end of July and the beginning of August, Charles and his son fled Paris and signed an instrument of abdication. The intended beneficiary of the abdication was Charles' grandson (the Dauphin's nephew) Henry, Duke of Bordeaux, a child of 9.

Orléans succession[edit]

After several days of discussion, the French Chamber of Deputies chose to ignore the instrument and instead proclaimed Louis-Philippe, Duke of Orléans, as King on 9 August 1830.

Under the Orléans régime, the style Dauphin was not used for the heir apparent to the French throne; he was called instead Prince Royal, in accordance with the 1791-1792 usage.

Heir Status Relationship to Monarch Became heir Ceased to be heir Next in succession
relation to heir, dates
Monarch
Date Reason Date Reason
Ferdinand Philippe, Duke of Orléans heir apparent son 9 August 1830 father elected king 13 July 1842 died Louis, Duke of Nemours
brother (1830-1838)
Louis-Philippe of France
Philippe, comte de Paris
son (1838-1842)
Philippe, comte de Paris heir apparent grandson 13 July 1842 father died 24 February 1848 abdication of Louis-Philippe Robert, Duke of Chartres
brother (1842-1848)

After a further revolutionary upheaval in 1848, Louis-Philippe abdicated on 24 February in favor of his grandson Philippe. The choice of Philippe was not accepted by the Chamber of Deputies, and instead the monarchy was abolished and a new Republic declared.

Bonaparte succession: Second Empire[edit]

The Second Republic elected as its president Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, son of Napoleon I's brother Louis Bonaparte. President Bonaparte overthrew the Republic by internal coup d'état on 2 December 1851; exactly one year later, following a plebiscite, he converted himself into an Emperor, Napoleon III of France—considering the brief reign of "Napoleon II" in 1815 as valid.

The succession laws were similar to those of the First Empire, except that Jérôme Bonaparte and his male-line male descendants were, by special decree, eligible for the succession, following the descendants of Napoleon III himself (Joseph Bonaparte had died leaving no male children; other than Napoleon III, no other descendants of Louis Bonaparte survived by 1852).

The heir apparent of the Emperor was titled Prince Imperial, parallel to the Orléans title of Prince Royal.

Heir Status Relationship to Monarch Became heir Ceased to be heir Next in succession
relation to heir, dates
Monarch
Date Reason Date Reason
Jérôme Bonaparte heir presumptive uncle 18 December 1852 Imperial decree 16 March 1856 son born to Emperor Napoléon Joseph Charles Paul Bonaparte
son (1852-1856)[6]
Napoleon III of France
Louis Napoléon, Prince Imperial heir apparent son 16 March 1856 born 4 September 1870 Third Republic declared Jérôme Bonaparte
great-uncle (1856-1860)
Napoléon Joseph Charles Paul Bonaparte
1st cousin -1 (1860-1870)

With the failure of the Imperial army at the Battle of Sedan in the Franco-Prussian war, Napoleon III was captured and his government collapsed. Two days after the battle a Third Republic was declared which would last for seventy years. The Imperial family went into exile. France would never again be ruled by a hereditary monarch.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Philip II's closest living male relative by Salic primogeniture, other than his own descendants, was Robert II of Dreux, his 2nd cousin.
  2. ^ John I was born five months posthumously to Louis X, and died after five days.
  3. ^ Charles VII became king in little more than name, as in 1422 much of France was either in rebellion against his authority or under the control of an English occupation force, in the name of Henry VI of England, who had been proclaimed King of France. Over the course of his reign Charles VII reasserted control over most of France.
  4. ^ Philip, the younger brother of Louis le petit Dauphin, had acquired the throne of Spain in the War of the Spanish Succession. In order to avoid the possibility of the union of the thrones of France and Spain, which was one of the primary concerns preventing the conclusion of a peace, Philip formally renounced the French throne for himself and his descendants on July 8, 1712, and they henceforth no longer formed part of the line of succession. This renunciation formed part of the Treaty of Utrecht.
  5. ^ Napoleonic Succession Laws at Heraldica.
  6. ^ Jérôme Bonaparte had an older son by a first marriage, Jérôme Napoleon Bonaparte, but he was an American citizen and he and his descendants were not considered part of the line of succession.