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The succession to the French throne has a fascinating history. While all the thrones to each European monarchies are governed by laws and statutes, the laws governing the French monarchy are complex and have lead to their interpretation that borderlines religious fundamentalism. Because of these rules and the unstable, at times, nature of hereditary succession this lead to dynastic disputes. In this series I will examine these disputes in depth.


French dynastic disputes refer to a set of disputes in the history of France regarding the person who should inherit the crown.
Four such disputes had been identified:

* The Hundred Years War, which originated from a dynastic dispute (English claims to the French throne),
* Henri IV of France’s succession, particularly the period between 1589-1594, marked by the refusal to set the Protestant Henry of Navarre to the throne,
* Competition raging since 1830 between the Bourbons and the Orleans,
* Action Bonapartist.
At the moment, there are three main groups who claim the crown:
* The Bourbons
* The Orleans
* The Bonapartes, although Prince Charles Napoleon, “Head of the Imperial House of France” does not claim the restoration of the Empire, some groups are considering this and support the Bonapartist party, sometimes for him, sometimes for his eldest son, Prince Jean-Christophe Napoleon.

The Fundamental Laws of the Kingdom of France
To better understand three of the four dynastic disputes regarding the succession to the French throne, it is necessary to have an understanding of the ancient constitution of the Capetian monarchy. The fundamental laws of the Kingdom of France referred to certain fixed rules that the French public law has placed above the sovereign will. They were the unwritten laws which were invoked during the ages when serious difficulties arose: in them can be seen the foundation of the monarchy. Their origin coincides with the development of the House of Hugh Capet; they are related to that house, they existed as long as it reigned, and when the old French monarchy disappeared, they disappeared with it.

Crown of King Louis XV of France and Navarre.