The House of Bourbon (and Borbón)

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The House of Bourbon (and Borbón)

The French (and later the Spanish) royal house descends from a Capet – Louis IX (The Saintly). As such it was absolutist and conformist in ideology, and dedicated to the extension of France in other territories and maintaining her influence.

The last king of the Valois dynasty was Henry III; Henry of Navarre (‘Paris is worth a Mass’) became Henry IV of France and established the Bourbon dynasty. His son was Louis XIII and his grandson was the Sun King himself, Louis Quartorze (Louis XIV).

Under the latter the long-standing rivalry between France and the Habsburgs rose to a climax, but after a series of wars Philip of Anjou, a descendent of the Sun King ascended to the Spanish throne as Philip V (Felipe Quinto), first of the Spanish Borbones.

    Back in France, the prestige of the Bourbons diminished under Louis XV and Louis XVI, and the French actually cut off the head of the latter, which showed what the people thought (at least during their Revolution) of their Bourbon monarchs. The line was thus interrupted in 1793 by the guillotine, and was briefly restored from 1814 – 30. The Spanish arm flourished however, and a Borbón is Spain’s present king and his son Felipe, Prince of Asturias, stands every chance of inheriting the throne from his father, Juan-Carlos I as long as Spain does not become a Republic, a drastic solution which is far from being uncertain.

House of Bourbon reigning dates:


1589-1610                                  Henry IV

1610-43                                      Louis XIII

1643-1714 (seventy-one years)    Louis XIV

1715-74                                      Louis XV

1774-93 (executed)                      Louis XVI

1793-1814                                  Republican and Bonapartist regimes

1814-24                                      Louis XVIII

1824-30                                      Charles X

1830-48                                      Louis-Philipe (from the Orléans branch)


1700-24                                      Philip V

1724/5                                        Louis I

1725-46                                      Philip V (again)

1746/49                                      Ferdinand VI (in Spanish Fernando)

1759-88                                     Charles III

1788- 1808                                 Charles IV

1808-14                                      Bonapartist regime

1814-33                                      Ferdinand VII ( not at all good for Spain)

1833-68                                      Isabella II (Isabel Segunda)

1868-74                                      The First Republic

1874-85                                      Alfonso XII

1886-1931                                   Alfonso XIII (left Spain but never abdicated)

1931-75                                      The Second Republic and General Franco’s regime

1975                                           Juan-Carlos I


By | 2014-04-01T13:33:53+00:00 October 10th, 2013|French History, Spanish History, Today|0 Comments

About the Author:

‘Dean Swift’ is a pen name: the author has been a soldier; he has worked in sales, TV, the making of films, as a teacher of English and history and a journalist. He is married with three grown-up children. They live in Spain.

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