France

French people and events during the European Middle Ages.

Charles VI of France: The Mad King

Charles VI’s insanity would plunge France into chaos. Charles was born on December 3, 1368 in Paris. His father, the Valois King Charles V, was a sickly, yet competent ruler. At the time of Charles’s birth, France fought against England in the Hundred Years War. The king’s leadership gave France an advantage, but he didn’t live long enough to end […]

Charles IV of France: The Last Capetian King

Charles IV was never expected to be king. When his father, King Philip IV, died at the age of 46 on November 29, 1314, the Capetian line of succession was very secure. Philip IV had left behind three sons: Louis, Philip, and Charles. As the eldest brother, Louis succeeded his father as Louis X. No one suspected the misfortune that […]

Eleanor of Aquitaine: The Influential Noblewoman

She held many titles throughout her long life. Eleanor was born in the duchy of Aquitaine, France, in 1122. Her father, William X, was the Duke of Aquitaine and the Count of Poitiers. Through these titles, William controlled vast estates and possessed immense political power. A cultured man, William ensured that his daughter was well educated. Under her father’s tutelage, […]

Philip II of France: The Cunning King

It was said that Philip II’s birth was God-given. Philip was born on August 21, 1165 to Capetian King Louis VII and his wife, Queen Adela. At the time of his birth, Louis was 44-45 years old and was on his third marriage. His prior marriages had only given him daughters. When Philip was born, he immediately became Louis’s heir. […]

Blanche of Castile: Mother of a Saint King

Her support and guidance would help create one of the greatest French kings in history. Blanche was born in Castile on March 4, 1188, to King Alfonso VIII and Queen Eleanor. She descended from Castilian royalty and English royalty through her mother. As part of a marriage arrangement between Castile and France, the young Blanche was betrothed to King Philip […]