Philip of France (1116–1131)

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Philip of France (1131).jpg
King of the Franks
Co-reign14 April 1129 – 13 October 1131
Coronation14 April 1129
Born29 August 1116
Died13 October 1131(1131-10-13) (aged 15)
FatherLouis VI of France
MotherAdélaide of Maurienne

Philip (29 August 1116 – 13 October 1131) was the King of France from 1129, co-ruling with his father, Louis VI. His mother was Louis VI's second wife, Adelaide of Maurienne.


Following the custom of naming eldest sons after their paternal grandfathers, Philip was named after Louis VI's father, Philip I. He appears to have been the favourite son of his father as a child and, once again following established Capetian practice, was enthroned alongside his father Louis VI as co-king in 1129. However, the young king gave his father little joy after that, refusing to pay attention to the old king or to follow the high standards that Louis himself followed. He became disobedient, refusing to heed scoldings or warnings; Walter Map said that he "strayed from the paths of conduct traveled by his father and, by his overweening pride and tyrannical arrogance, made himself a burden to all."[1]

Philip's brief period as co-king was ended two years after his coronation. Riding with a group of companions along the Seine, in the Parisian market section named the Greve, his running horse was tripped by a black pig which darted out of a dung heap on the quay. The horse fell forwards, and the young king was catapulted over its head. The fall "so dreadfully fractured his limbs that he died on the day following" without regaining consciousness.[2] He was buried at St Denis,[3] and was succeeded as heir, and co-king, by his pious brother, Louis the Younger (now known as Louis VII).

If Philip had been little other than trouble and a problem to his family and kingdom whilst he had lived, his legacy would prove greater trouble still. Whilst he had lived, he had nurtured a dream of visiting Jerusalem and the tomb of Christ; when he died, his brother, Louis VII, vowed to go in Philip's place. This vow would provide a reason for Louis joining the disastrous Second Crusade and an excuse to abandon Antioch in favour of Jerusalem. The Crusade brought many deaths on both sides, and the abandonment of Antioch proved a strategic failure and a partial cause for the collapse of the marriage between Louis and his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Because he was co-king rather than a king in his own right, he is not generally given a number in the succession of kings of France.



  1. ^ Walter Map, De Nugis Curialium, p. 285.
  2. ^ Ordericus Vitalis, The Ecclesiastical History of England and Normandy, v. 4, p. 129.
  3. ^ Authority, the Family, and the Dead in Late Medieval France, Elizabeth A. R. Brown, French Historical Studies, Vol. 16, No. 4 (Autumn, 1990), p. 808.


Meade, Marion, Eleanor of Aquitaine

Philip of France (1116–1131)
Born: 29 August 1116 Died: 13 October 1131
Preceded by
Louis VI
as sole king
King of the Franks
1129 – 1131
with Louis VI
Succeeded by
Louis VI
as sole king