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|History of France|
The House of Valois (French pronunciation: [valwa]) was a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty. They succeeded the House of Capet (or "Direct Capetians") to the French throne, and was the royal house of France from 1328 to 1589. Junior members of the family founded cadet branches in Alençon, Anjou, Burgundy and Orléans.
The Valois descended from Charles, Count of Valois (1270–1325), the fourth son of King Philip III of France (reigned 1270–1285). Their title to the throne was based on a precedent in 1316 (popularly known in the English-speaking world as the Salic law), which excluded females (Joan II of Navarre) as well as male descendants through the distaff line (Edward III of England), from the succession to the French throne.
The Capetian dynasty seemed secure both during and after the reign of Philip IV from 1285 to 1313. Philip had left three surviving sons (Louis, Philip and Charles) and a daughter (Isabella). Each son became king in turn but died young without male heirs, leaving only daughters who could not inherit the throne. When Charles IV died in 1328, the French succession became more problematic.
In 1328 three candidates had plausible claims to the throne:
|Philip III of France|
|Philip IV of France|
|Charles of Valois|
|Louis of Évreux|
|Louis X of France|
|Philip V of France|
|Charles IV of France|
|Isabella of France||Edward II of England||Philip of Valois|
|Philip of Évreux|
|Joan of France|
|Edward III of England|
In England, Isabella of France claimed the throne on behalf of her son. Similarly to French conventions, the English law of succession did not allow the succession of females, but allowed the succession through the female line (as occurred de facto with Henry II of England). The French rejected Isabella's claims, arguing that since she herself, as a woman, could not succeed, then she could not transmit any such right to her son. Thus the French magnates chose Philip of Valois, who became Philip VI of France. The throne of Navarre went its separate way, to Joan of France, daughter of Louis X, who became Joan II of Navarre.
Because diplomacy and negotiation had failed, Edward III would have to back his claims with force to obtain the French throne. For a few years, England and France maintained an uneasy peace. Eventually, an escalation of conflict between the two kings led to the confiscation of the duchy of Aquitaine (1337). Instead of paying homage to the French king, as his ancestors had done, Edward claimed that he was the rightful King of France. These events helped launch the Hundred Years War (1337-1453) between England and France.
House of Valois-Alençon
House of Valois-Anjou
House of Valois-Burgundy
House of Valois-Burgundy-Brabant
House of Valois-Burgundy-Nevers
House of Valois-Orléans
House of Valois-Orléans-Angoulême
Forms of address for Valois kings included "Most Christian Majesty".
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House of Valois
Cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty
House of Capet
|Ruling House of France|
House of Bourbon
Capetian House of Burgundy
|Ruling House of the Duchy of Burgundy|
House of Habsburg