The following list of French monarchs is one of several Wikipedia lists of incumbents.

The actual beginnings of the French monarchy are somewhat debatable. Much of the question stems from the beginnings of France as a distinct kingdom in the Middle Ages -- that is, several hundred years after the Romans lost control over what is now most of Central and Western Europe.

Most medieval historians would argue that the existence of France proper did not begin until the advent of the Capetian Dynasty in 987, or, at the very earliest, with the establishment of the Kingdom of Western Francia at the Treaty of Verdun in 843. This view is somewhat problematic in layman's terms, however, in part due to the existence of centuries-old tradition that considers the beginnings of France to lie in the Merovingian Frankish kingdom established under Clovis I. This kingdom was founded in the 5th century, and its rulers deposed in the 8th century. This tradition itself is based in part on the need of the post-Carolingian Capetian kings to strengthen their claims to the throne. Over time, these claims became part of the French national identity. Since the 1990s, the very question of nationality, especially for nations who consider their foundations to be in the period from the 5th to 9th centuries, has come under fire. This re-examination has already resulted in several interesting studies (see below), some of which will surely lead to a further redefinition of what it means to be a nation, and how nationality can be better defined.

In light of these recent trends, this list begins with the creation in 843 of Charles the Bald's Kingdom of Western Francia, the state which would directly evolve into modern France. For earlier Frankish monarchs, see List of Frankish Kings.

(Names of regents are included for convenience's sake, though they are of course not actually French monarchs. Note that Charlemagne (768-814) is usually considered to be "Charles I of France", and his son Louis the Pious is numbered as Louis I.)

Carolingian Dynasty (843 to 987).

Capetian Dynasty (987 to 1328).

The Capetian Dynasty, the male-line descendants of Hugh Capet ruled France continuously from 987 to 1792. The branches of the dynasty which ruled after 1328, however, are generally given the specific branch names of Valois and Bourbon

Valois Dynasty (1328-1589)

Main Branch (1328-1498)

Valois-Orleans Branch (1498-1515)

Valois-Angoulême Branch (1515-1589)

Bourbon Dynasty (1589-1792)

First Republic (1792-1804)

Convention (1792-1795)

Directory (1795-1799)

Consulate (1799-1804)

Bonaparte Dynasty -- First Empire (1804-1814)

Bourbon Dynasty, Restored (1814-1848)

Bourbon-Orleans, The Monarchy of July Second Republic (1848-1852) Bonaparte Dynasty -- Second Empire (1852-1870) The chronology continues on Presidents of France.


For a study of France and its rulers, see also:

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