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Philippe  III (April 30, 1245 – October 5, 1285), called the Bold, was king of France from 1270 until his death in 1285. His father, Louis IX, died in Tunis during the Eighth Crusade. Philippe who was accompanying him, returned to France and was anointed king at Reims in 1271.


Philippe inherited numerous territorial lands during his reign, the most notable being the County of Toulouse, which was returned to the royal domain in 1271. With the Treaty of Orléans, he expanded French influence into the Kingdom of Navarre and following the death of his brother Pierre during the Sicilian Vespers, the county of Alençon was returned to the crown lands.

Following the Sicilian Vespers, Philippe III led the Aragonese Crusade in support of his uncle. Initially successful, Philip, his army racked with sickness, was forced to retreat and died from dysentery in Perpignan in 1285. He was succeeded by his son Philippe IV.

Early life

Philippe was born in Poissy, the second son of King Louis IX of France and Margaret of Provence. As a younger son, Philippe as not expected to rule France. At the death of his older brother Louis in 1260, he became the heir apparent to the throne.

Philippe’s  mother Margaret made him promise to remain under her tutelage until the age of 30, however Pope Urban IV released him from this oath on June 6, 1263. From that moment on, Pierre de La Brosse was Philippe’s mentor. His father, Louis IX also provided him with advice, writing in particular Enseignements, which inculcated the notion of justice as the first duty of a king.

According to the terms of the Treaty of Corbeil (1258), concluded on  March 11, 1258 between Louis IX and James I of Aragon, Philippe was married in 1262 to Isabella of Aragon in Clermont  daughter of King James I of Aragon and his second wife Yolande of Hungary by the archbishop of Rouen, Eudes Rigaud.

As Count of Orléans, Philippe accompanied his father on the Eighth Crusade to Tunis in 1270. Shortly before his departure, Louis IX had given the regency of the kingdom into the hands of Mathieu de Vendôme and Simon II, Count of Clermont, to whom he had also entrusted the royal seal. After taking Carthage, the army was struck by an epidemic of dysentery, which spared neither Philippe nor his family. His brother Jean Tristan, Count of Valois died first, on August 3 and on August 25 the king died. To prevent putrefaction of the remains of Louis, they decided on Mos Teutonicus.

Philippe was only 25 years old and stricken with dysentery, was proclaimed king in Tunis. His uncle, Charles I of Naples, was forced to negotiate with Muhammad I al-Mustansir, Hafsid Sultan of Tunis. A treaty was concluded  November 5, 1270 between the kings of France, Sicily and Navarre and the caliph of Tunis.

Other deaths followed this debacle. In December, in Trapani, Sicily, the brother-in-law of Philippe King Theobald II of Navarre, died. He was followed in February by Philippe III wife, Isabella, who fell off her horse pregnant with their fifth child. She died in Cozenza (Calabria). In April, Theobald’s widow and Philippe’s sister Isabella also died.

Philippe III arrived in Paris on 21 May 1271, and made foremost tribute to the deceased. The next day the funeral of his father was held. The new sovereign was crowned King of France in Reims 15 August 15, 1271.