Charles IV (France)

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Charles IV the Handsome ( French Charles IV le Bel ; * June 18, 1294 ; † February 1, 1328 in Vincennes Castle ) was King of France from 1322 to 1328 and (as Charles I) King of Navarre .


Charles IV "the beautiful" of France

Charles IV was the third son of Philip IV the Handsome († 1314) and his wife Joan of Navarre († 1305). As a prince, he received the county of La Marche as an allowance from his father in 1314 . In 1322 he succeeded his older brother Philip V the Tall One , who had left no son entitled to inheritance, to the French throne . Charles IV was crowned as the new king on February 21, 1322.

Outwardly, his government was shaped by the conflict with his brother-in-law, King Edward II of England , who refused to take the required feudal oath for Gascony . As a result, there were several military clashes in Gascony. The collection of the necessary financial means made Karl's government unpopular with the population. With the mediation of his sister Isabella , Edward's wife, the conflict finally came to an end in 1325 after her son paid homage to Prince Edward on behalf of his father. In addition, Charles received the Agénois and 50,000 pounds sterling from his sister in 1327 , which Edward III. would later serve as an occasion for a long-running conflict with France.

At Christmas 1327 Karl suddenly fell ill and died a little later. His last official act was the transfer of the county of La Marche in exchange for the county of Clermont-en-Beauvaisis to Louis I de Bourbon , who also received the title of duke and the dignity of a pair for the Bourbon Seigneurie .

At times, the young Luxembourg prince Wenzel lived for education at the court of Charles . On the occasion of his confirmation in 1323, King Karl acted as a sponsor, which meant that Wenzel would later go down in history as Emperor Charles IV.

Charles IV of France died on February 1, 1328 in Vincennes Castle and was buried in the tomb of the French kings, the cathedral of Saint-Denis . When the royal tombs of Saint-Denis were sacked during the French Revolution , his tomb was opened and looted on October 24, 1793, and his remains were buried in a mass grave outside the church.


Louis IX Kg. Of France (1214-1270)
Philip III , King of France (1245–1285)
Margaret of Provence (1221–1295)
Philip IV King of France (1268-1314),
James I of Aragon (1208–1276)
Isabella of Aragón (around 1243–1271)
Yolanda of Hungary (1219–1251)
Charles IV King of France
Theobald I of Navarre (1201–1253)
Henry I of Navarre (around 1244–1274)
Margaret of Bourbon-Dampierre (died 1256)
Joan I of Navarre (1273–1305)
Robert I of Artois (1216-1250)
Blanche d'Artois (1248–1302)
Mathilde of Brabant (1224-1288)


Tomb of King Charles IV in Saint-Denis

His first marriage was Blanka von Burgundy . They produced the following offspring:

  • Philipp (January 5, 1314 - March 24, 1322)
  • Johanna (1315 - May 17, 1321)

With Maria of Luxemburg , his second wife, he had the children:

  • Marguerite (1323-?)
  • Ludwig (* / † March 1324) Ludwig died as a premature baby just a few hours after birth

On July 5, 1324, he married Johanna von Évreux for the third time . The children came from this connection:

  • Johanna (* before July 21, 1325; † before January 16, 1327)
  • Marie (* after October 18, 1326 - † October 6, 1341)
  • Blanche (April 1, 1328; † February 8, 1393), ⚭ January 18, 1344 with Philip of Valois (* 1336; † 1375), Duke of Orléans


When he died, King Charles IV only left daughters and a pregnant widow, which is why the pairs and prelates elected Count Philip of Valois as regent of the empire. However, after the queen widow gave birth with a daughter, a problematic succession situation arose as the main line of the Capetian dynasty died out.

This time the question of who should become king now was even more difficult to decide than after the death of Ludwig X. in 1316. If one opted for the principle that women in principle could not be bearers of the right of inheritance, even if male descendants of such a woman were meanwhile lived, only pretenders of a side branch of the Capetian dynasty would be considered as successors. The Counts Philip of Valois and Philip of Évreux were therefore closest to the throne. But if one recognized a right of inheritance transferred by women to their sons, then the English King Edward III. , Son of a daughter of Philip IV , the next contender.

In 1317, however, King Philip V had ruled out female succession by recognizing the Lex Salica . The regent therefore immediately took over as Philip VI. the title of king (coronation in May 1328) and founded the Valois family . The English King Edward III. recognized the new king in Amiens in June 1329 . However, in 1337 an open conflict broke out due to disputes over the Duchy of Guyenne , in which the English king withdrew his recognition and himself laid a claim to the French throne. This marked the beginning of the Hundred Years War .

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predecessor Office successor
Jolanda Count of La Marche
Louis of Bourbon
Philip V the Long
(Philip II of Navarre)
King of France 1322–1328
Blason pays for FranceAncien.svg
Philip VI
Philip V the Long
(Philip II of Navarre)
King of Navarre 1322-1328
Blason Royaume Navarre.svg
Johanna II.
Philip III.