House of Capet

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The House of Capet, or The Direct Capetian Dynasty, (), also called The House of France (la maison de France), or simply the Capets, which ruled the Kingdom of France from 987 to 1328, was the most senior line of the Capetian dynasty – itself a derivative dynasty from the Robertians. As rulers of France, the dynasty succeeded the Carolingian dynasty. The name derives from the nickname of Hugh, the first Capetian King, who was known as Hugh Capet and was a cognatic descendant of the Carolingians.

The direct House of Capet came to an end in 1328, when the three sons of Philip IV all failed to produce surviving male heirs to the French throne. With the death of Charles IV, the throne passed to the House of Valois, the direct descendants of Charles of Valois, a younger son of Philip III. It would later pass again, to the House of Bourbon and the House of Orléans (both descended from Louis IX), while always remaining in the hands of agnatic descendants of Hugh Capet.

History

Early Capetian kings

The first Capetian monarch was Hugh Capet (c.940–996), a Frankish nobleman from the Île-de-France, who, following the death of Louis V of France (c.967–987) – the last Carolingian King – secured the throne of France by election. He then proceeded to make it hereditary in his family, by securing the election and coronation of his son, Robert II (972–1031), as co-King. The throne thus passed securely to Robert on his father's death, who followed the same custom – as did...
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