Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Salutations to the Lord of Brantigny (called Boisvert)...

My dear Monsieur de Brantigny,

I was delighted to read this declaration on your site. I shall share it with readers who may similarly enjoy it. It reads thus:

"Sieur de Brantigny, dit Boisvert, witnessed by the Blessed Mother and the whole Court of Heaven, do solemnly swear by the Holy Gospels (which I touch with my hand) to be loyal and true to Monseigneur le Prince, Louis, le duc d'Anjou, de jure His Most Christian Majesty, Louis XX, by God's Grace King of France and Navarre and that I will do all that lays in my power to bring about his restoration to the Throne of his forefathers and the instauration of the Social Reign of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts in France and throughout the world. So help me God. Vive Le Roi! Vive le Roi! Vive le Roi!"

I am afraid that your comment on my page "Mo Ghile mear" dedicated to the Bonnie Prince, true King of our three Kingdoms, did not publish for some reason which I cannot fathom, so I am reproducing it here on a fresh page. You wrote:

" '...an Irish tribute to Bonnie Prince Charlie, Prince Charles Edward Stuart, the true King of Scotland, Ireland, and England (and France!)...'. Never France."

Yes, France!

You must add to your stock of historical knowledge, my dear Monsieur, but you must not fear that it will hurt your commendable pride in your country.


It is simply this. The claim to France is an ancient claim of the English kings but not one that has been taken seriously for many centuries. It is an honorific title that is rather more a compliment to France and her once so Catholic people.

From 1340 to 1801, save between 1360-1369 and 1420–1422, the kings and queens of England, and after the Acts of Union in 1707 the kings and queens of Great Britain, also bore the title of King or Queen of France.

Do not forget that England was conquered by William the Conqueror, Guillaume le Conquerant, not a Frenchman, it is true, but a French-speaking Norman, Duke of Normandy. But Normandy has long been part of France.

King William I of England, the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy

Thus was the Kingdom of England ruled by a Norman-French descendant of the Conqueror, and a Norman-French-speaking aristocracy, which is why, in 1340, King Edward III, a Norman French Plantagenet, claimed the throne of France after the death of his uncle, Charles IV of France.

King Edward III of England and France, Lord of Ireland

Thus began the Hundred Year’s War between the Norman-French “English” and the collection of peoples that lived in the Kingdom of France.

At the time of Charles IV's death in 1328, Edward was his nearest male relative through Edward's mother Isabella of France.

Since the election of Hugh Capet (my own grand-sire, by the way!) as King of France in 987, the French crown has always passed according to the law of the Salian Franks – the Salic Law – through the male line only until 1316.

Hugh “Capet”, Count of Paris, first Duke then King of France,
first of the Capetian line of French kings

However, the rule changed in that year. Louis X, the son of Philip IV “the Fair”, died in that year and, shortly after, so did his son, John I. Should Princess Joan, his daughter, or Prince Philip, his brother, succeed?

Whilst it was agreed that a woman could not possess the throne in her own right, nevertheless Edward III of England, himself Norman-French, argued that the claim could pass through a woman to her son.

However, Philip of Valois came instead to the throne as Philip VI, being cousin-german to the dead king, and so began the House of Valois.

Edward, complaisant at first, later asserted his claim to be King of France.

Edward continued to use this title until the Treaty of Brétigny of 8 May 1360 but later still revived his claim.

This remained the position until the Treaty of Troyes of 21 May 1420, when the English court recognised Charles VI as King of France, but on the basis that his new son-in-law, King Henry V of England, was his rightful heir (disinheriting the Dauphin Charles, Henry adopting the title Heir of France instead).

In 1422, Henry V's son Henry VI, grandson of Charles VI, became King of France as well as England.

King Henry VI of England and France, Lord of Ireland

So, mon cher monsieur, you are quite wrong to say “never France”. He was, indeed, King of France and recognised as such (for a time) but not for long.

Jeanne la Pucelle, St Joanna of Arc, arose to challenge the King of England and did so, it seems, with heaven on her side.

Jeanne la Pucelle, the Maid of Orleans, St Joan of Arc

The Norman-French “English” and their allies, the Burgundians, were overthrown and the Dauphin crowned at Rheims, the home of French kings and champagne, as Charles VII.

After 1453, the only territory left in the hand of the English crown was Calais, held until 1558.

Nevertheless, the Kings of England continued to use the title “King of France” for long after. Even usurpers, like Lambert Simnel, claimed the title.

And certainly the Jacobite Stewarts claimed the title, although they were allied with King Louis XIV and King James II and VII was long a guest of Louis.

King James II of England and Ireland, VII of Scotland, and of France, the last Catholic king of these islands

Interestingly, the French kings did not object to the claim but saw it as a kind of honour to France.

It was only the odious republic of hate that objected to the title.

The title was not abandoned until after the French Revolution when, at the peace negotiations at the Conference of Lille, in 1797, the French republican delegates demanded that the King of Great Britain abandon the title of King of France as a condition of peace. Britain recognised the French Republic in 1802.

King George III thus chose to drop the title and the fleur de lys was removed from the Royal Arms of Great Britain.

The Jacobite claimant, Cardinal Henry Benedict Stuart, Cardinal-Duke of York and de jure King of England, Scotland, Ireland and France, however, did not recognise the change and continued so to style himself until his death on 13 July 1807.

HRH Henry Benedict Stewart, Cardinal-Duke of York and de jure King Henry IX of England, Scotland, Ireland and France, son of King James III and VIII, grandson of King James II and VII and brother of Prince Charles Edward Stewart, "Bonnie Prince Charlie"

Thereafter, his Jacobite successors continued to include France in their title.

This is history and you must note, mon cher monsieur, that it was the republicans who objected to the use of the title, not the French kings or monarchists.

You are, I see, a Catholic monarchist who recognises King Louis XX. I salute you for it for so do I recognise him.

But let us also disassociate ourselves from the republican dislike of the title “King of France” used by the English kings. Let us consider it always a charming compliment to the Kingdom of France, as did the Kings of France, like King Louis XIV. Thus, you have no need to resent it!

A bas la republique du Mal!

Vive la France!

Vive le roi! Vive Louis XX!


Brantigny said...

I wish that I had seen this when it was first posted.

Tribunus said...

Mon cher Monsieur,

I hope you enjoyed it!

Vive la France! Vive le roi!