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