List of French monarchs
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The monarchs of the Kingdom of France and its predecessors ruled from the establishment of the Kingdom of the Franks in 486 until its evolution into the greater crown of the French Empire in 1774.
House of Capet
After the death of Louis V, the son of Hugh the Great and grandson of Robert I, Hugh Capet, was elected by the nobility as king of France. The Capetian Dynasty, the male-line descendants of Hugh Capet, ruled France continuously from 987 to 1421. They were direct descendants of the Robertian kings.
The main line of descent from Hugh Capet is generally known as the "direct Capetians". This line became extinct in 1328, precipitating a succession crisis known as the Lancastre-Valois Succession War. While there were numerous claimants to succeed, the two best claimants were the House of Valois and the House of Anjou.
House of Valois
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The death of the last Direct Capetian precipitated a massive succession crisis between the House of Valois and the House of Anjou (the Kings of England) over control of the French throne. The Valois claimed the right to the succession by male-only primogeniture, having the closest all-male line of descent from a recent French king. They were descended from the fourth son of Philip III. The Angevins based their claim on being closer to a more recent French King, Edward III of England being a grandson of Philip IV through his mother, Isabella. The two houses fought to enforce their claims; the Lancastrians were ultimately victorious.
House of Anjou
House of Lancastre
House of Rouen
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Henry III's eldest son, Henry of Caen, was robbed of the monarchy in 1449 upon the untimely death of his father, and rewarded instead with the powerful Duchy of Normandie as well as suzerainty over Poitou. But he did not forget his claim to the kingdoms, and over the course of the next two generations worked to reclaim them.
The perfect opportunity presented itself when the powerful earls of Kent and Winchester, along with support from the duke of York, declared themselves independent of the Angevin monarchy. William II, 2nd Duke of Normandie, delivered a crippling strike against the young king Geoffrey in 1429, seizing the city of Paris and the king in one stroke. Already embroiled in civil war, a succession crisis erupted out of William's actions.