m. 16 Aug 1290
m. JUL 1313
Facts and Events
When king Charles IV the Fair died without male heir in 1328, the nearest male relative was his nephew Edward III of England, who inherited his right through his mother Isabella of France, the sister of the dead king. The question arose of whether she should be able to transmit a right that she did not possess. The assemblies of the French barons and prelates and the University of Paris decided that males who derive their right to inheritance through their mother should be excluded according to the ancient Salic law. Thus the nearest heir through male ancestry was Charles IV's first cousin, Philip, Count of Valois who was crowned as Philip VI.
The dynastic change had an other consequence: Charles was also King of Navarre but, unlike the crown of France, the crown of Navarre was not subject to Salic law. Therefore Philip had to abandon the Kingdom of Navarre to its rightful heir Joan of France, who became queen regnant as Joan II of Navarre. However, Philip refused to grant her the county of Champagne, which was merged into the French royal domain.
As duke of Guyenne, Edward III was simultaneously the vassal of Philip and his equal as king of England and, like his father, was reluctant to pay homage to the French king. Further provocations led Philip to confiscate Edward's Duchy of Guyenne in 1337 for rebellion and disobedience. In retaliation, Edward III contested Philip's legitimacy and claimed the throne of France in 1338, although there was no precedent for someone succeeding to the French throne based on his maternal ancestry, nor had there needed to be. This succession crisis led to the Hundred Years' War.
After initial successes at sea, Philip's navy was annihilated at the Battle of Sluys in 1340, ensuring that the war would occur on the continent. The English took another decisive advantage at the battle of Crécy (1346), while the Black Death struck France, further destabilizing the country.
In 1349, Philip VI bought the Dauphiné to its ruined ruler Humbert II and entrusted the governement of this province to his grandson Charles. Philip VI died in 1350 and was succeeded by his son John II the Good.