House Valois

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Coat of arms of the French kingdom under the Valois

House Valois is the name of a French royal family from which 13 kings of France came.

Origin and name

With the help of the Maid of Orléans, King Charles VII triumphed over the English in the Hundred Years' War.

The house Valois is in his male line a branch line of the French royal family of the Capetians derived by Prince Charles of Valois , a younger son of the French King Philip III. of the bold . Prince Karl was apanaged by his father in 1285 with the county of Valois as his own property.

When the Capetians in the direct line ( Capétiens directs ) died out with the death of King Charles IV the Fair in 1328 , according to the provisions of Salic law ( Lex Salica ), which excluded women from the line of succession, Count Philip of Valois (as Philip VI.) The throne. Philip was the son of Prince Karl von Valois and a first cousin of King Charles IV. Since this succession regulation was not yet firmly anchored in tradition at that time (e.g. it did not apply to the feudal nobility), the English also rose King Edward III Claims to the throne as he was a nephew of Charles IV through his mother. This resulted in the Anglo-French War, which went down in history as the Hundred Years War and had a major impact on the reigns of the first Valois rulers.

Valois was not the name of the dynasty, which, due to its origins, considered itself to be the continuation of the "House of France", the Capetian family. Rather, the name did not appear until the Hundred Years War: as a disparaging description of the dynasty as a descendant of the Count of Valois, whereas the English opponent of the war was a king's son. Nevertheless, this name prevailed in later historiography as a name for this Capetian branch line, similar to the houses of Artois , Évreux or Bourbon .

King Francis I is regarded as the Renaissance prince par excellence and a pioneer of modern absolutism.

Among the Valois kings, especially Charles V , Charles VII , Louis XI. and Franz I , in France (unlike in Germany at the same time) the role of the crown was strengthened despite the occasional fall in power and centralization on the capital Paris continued. The French national consciousness also finally emerged among the first Valois.

With the award of the Duchy of Burgundy in 1363 to Prince Philip the Bold by his father, King John II , an important side line of the Valois, the House of Burgundy , was founded that lasted until 1482 . With the Duchy of Burgundy, Philip the Bold and his descendants established a powerful, almost sovereign feudal state, which was able to hold out between France and Germany for a century and from which the present-day Benelux countries later emerged.

With King Heinrich III. In 1589 the direct line of the Valois died out. At 261 years of age, they were the longest ruling French ruling dynasty after the Capetians , who (excluding the Robertines , which also count towards them ) had 341 years. The Valois was followed by Henry IV, the Bourbon dynasty.

main lines of the Valois:

French kings from the House of Valois

  • Valois main line:
Surname Reign relationship
Philip VI 1328-1350
Johann II. 1350-1364 Son of the predecessor
Charles V 1364-1380 Son of the predecessor
Charles VI 1380-1422 Son of the predecessor
Charles VII 1422-1461 Son of the predecessor
Louis XI. 1461-1483 Son of the predecessor
Charles VIII 1483-1498 Son of the predecessor
Surname Reign relationship
Louis XII. 1498-1515 Great-grandson of Charles V
Surname Reign relationship
Franz I. 1515-1547 Great-great-grandson of Charles V
Henry II 1547-1559 Son of the predecessor
Francis II 1559-1560 Son of the predecessor
Charles IX 1560-1574 Brother of the predecessor
Henry III. 1574-1589 Brother of the predecessor

Beginning of the Bourbon dynasty : 1589


Heinrich IV. (Frankreich) Franz (Alençon) Heinrich III. (Frankreich) Karl IX. (Frankreich) Franz II. (Frankreich) Heinrich II. (Frankreich) Franz I. (Frankreich) Charles de Valois, comte d’Angoulême Jean de Valois, comte d’Angoulême Ludwig XII. Charles de Valois, duc d’Orléans Louis de Valois, duc d’Orléans Karl VIII. (Frankreich) Ludwig XI. Karl VII. (Frankreich) Karl VI. (Frankreich) Karl V. (Frankreich) Johann II. (Frankreich) Philipp VI. (Frankreich) Karl I. (Valois) Eduard III. (England) Isabelle de France († 1358) Karl IV. (Frankreich) Philipp V. (Frankreich) Johann I. (Frankreich) Ludwig X. (Frankreich) Philipp IV. (Frankreich) Philipp III. (Frankreich)

Extract from the family tree of the Valois

Charles of Valois
Philip VI
Charles of Alençon
John II the Good
House Valois-Alençon
(until 1525)
Charles V the Wise
Ludwig of Anjou
Philip the Bold of Burgundy
House Valois-Anjou
(until 1481)
House of Valois-Burgundy
(until 1482)
Charles VI the madman
Louis of Orléans
Charles VII the Victorious
Charles of Orléans
John of Angoulême
Louis XI.
Louis XII.
Charles of Angoulême
Charles VIII
Francis I
Henry II
Francis II
Charles IX
Henry III.

For details see: Tribe list of the Valois


Family relationships

See also

Wiktionary: Valois  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations


  • Robert Knecht: The Valois Kings of France 1328-1589. London 2004.

Web links

Commons : House of Valois  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files