French Language Blog

French History – More monarchs Posted by on May 26, 2020 in Uncategorized

The French Revolution of 1789 brought about enormous changes and laid the foundations for the France that we know today. It also ended the reign of Louis XVI and his reine (queen) Marie Antoinette. But … it didn’t end the monarchy in France!

Un empereur, trois rois, et un autre empereur!

Before France would bid adieu definitively to it’s monarchs, the county would be ruled by an emperor, three kings, and another emperor! And while les empereurs came from a whole new line, les trois rois (the three kings) essentially picked up where the last one left off.

Les deux Napoléons

The return of kings to France was bookended by not one, but two Napoléons. The first, Napoléon 1er, had himself declared empereur des Français in 1804, ending the Première République.

Le neveu de Napoléon 1er (the nephew of Napoleon I) would be both the president of France’s Deuxième République (Second Republic) and the Emperor of le Second Empire (1852-1870).

Between the two would be three kings …

La Restauration

After the abdication of Napoleon I, les deux frères de Louis XVI (the two brothers of Louis XVI) succeed each other as roi de France (king of France).

Louis XVIII (1814-1815 and 1815-1824)
Charles X (1824-1830)

La monarchie de Juillet
Following les Trois Glorieuses, Louis-Philippe Ie (1830 – 1848), le duc d’Orléans is named roi de Français (king of the French) and rules until the events of the revolution de 1848, ending the almost 300 year rule of the Bourbon kings (but not their family line) that began in 1589!

Descendents of the Bourbon kings can still be found around the world including le comte de Paris  / the Count of Paris, descendant of the house of Orléans and Louis de Bourbon, whose lineage makes him the legitimate heir to the throne of France … if there was still one!

Le Basilique Saint-Denis

Located to the north of Paris, the Basilica of Saint Denis is the final resting place of kings and queens of France going back as Dagobert I, king of the Francs! Because of its location outside the city, many tourists miss this amazing place. But just a short ride on the subway can take you back in time and to the tombs of Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, et leurs enfants (and their children).



Photos (C) Tim Hildreth

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About the Author: Tim Hildreth

Since my first trip to France at 16, I have been a passionate francophile. I love the language, food, music, art, people, and more that make France and la Francophonie in general such an amazing part of our global community. Having lived in France and studied the language and culture for over 35 years, it is my great pleasure to be able to share a little bit of my deep love with you through this blog.