Why were there no queens for France?

As far as I know there were no queens of France. England had their share, Elizabeth, Mary etc.
There is probably a simple answer to this.

Because they couldn’t be legally recognized as such.

Yup, **ZPG **nailed it in one.

But it’s a bit more complicated than that.
Salic law was Frankish, i.e. very early medieval law (think Charlemagne), and had long fallen by the wayside by the time the “real” Middle Ages rolled by.
But the hardline agnatic Salic law regarding inheritances was dredged back in the early 14th century, in a bit of a frantic legislative bricks-shitting session, so that “the She-Wolf of France” (i.e. Isabella, wife of King Edward II of England and daughter of Philip IV of France), and through her her son, wouldn’t be able to claim a right to rule the kingdom after all of her brothers had died heirless.

So the *real *answer is that there are no queens of France because fuck the Brits, that’s why :).

Salic Law is also the reason why Elizabeth II isn’t the Queen of Hanover.

Great Britain doesn’t have a Salic Law*. Hanover did*. This wasn’t an issue for the first five Hanoverian monarchs - George I through William IV - but when William died in 1837, the British crown passed to his niece Victoria and the Hanoverian crown skipped Victoria and passed to William’s younger brother, Ernest Augustus.

It would have been an interesting what-if if this hadn’t been the case and Victoria had been Queen of Hanover. It would have created a closer political connection between Britain and Germany and would have been a complicating issue during Germany unification in the 19th century. Germany might have ended up unifying under a Hanoverian center rather than a Prussian one. Or Prussia might have fought against Hanover and Britain for control of Germany.

*Nitpick. Great Britain and Hanover both had a partial version of a Salic Law. Neither gave women equal inheritance to the monarchy and neither absolutely prohibited women from the monarchy. But the exact procedures differed and Victoria got in under British law but not under Hanoverian law.

Well…not just them ;). Joan of Navarre would have been first in line way back in 1316 in preference to Philip V as the only surviving child of Louis X, but was passed over in favor of her uncle. The fact that she was all of four at the time probably had more to do with it than Salic Law, but the law was invoked. So the precedent was already set when the rest of the direct male-line Capetians died out in 1328. At that point she negotiated an inheritance of the little kingdom of Navarre ( previously attached to the French throne ), as the Valois had no claim there.

English & British monarchs in turn included the title “King (or Queen) of France” in their official styles all the way up to 1801.

It is interesting that several heirs to thrones right now are female. Princess Victoria will be Queen of Sweden in her own right one day. The Swedish law was changed to favor her over her younger brother. Princess Catharina-Amalia of Holland will also be Queen in Denmark. Princess Elisabeth will be Queen of the Belgians. Infante Leonor will be Queen of Spain.

Assuming that these thrones will still exist.

Nitpick: she’ll be Queen of the NETHERLANDS. Crown Prince Frederick and his son Christian have Denmark covered.

Oops. That’s what I meant to write. The naming thing for the kings is so odd over there in Denmark. Always Frederick or Christian.

Have they changed the laws in Monaco? Will a female twin take precedence if she’s born before a male sibling?

No. Male preference cognatic primogeniture. The Prince’s son will always succeed over his sisters, no matter how old they are or he is. They did change the laws about 10 years ago, to exclude adopted and illegitimate children from the succession and to let the Prince’s siblings inherit if he dies without children. Prince Ranier probably did this because Albert didn’t have any legitimate kids, and even though Ranier never came out and said this was the reason, Albert’s son has a West African mother, and Albert’s daughter’s mother was still married to somebody else when the baby was born.

There’s been no announcement yet, but various publications are reporting that an announcement is expected shortly from the palace.

Incidentally, I’ve read in the past (sorry, no cites handy) that France under the ancien regime regarded the last born of twins to be the heir, under a ‘first-in, last-out’ theory.

Princess Leonor always in English, Princesa Leonor in Spanish now that her father is King and she’s first in line; her sister remains Infanta Sofia and will hopefully stay so for the rest of her life (hopefully, because if Sofía becomes our Princesa, something very bad has happened to Leo). Think of it as: Princesa means “Crown Princess”, Infanta means “Princess”.

Nitpick of Nitpick. England has Cognatic primogeniture: Younger brothers of Victoria had priority over her, but she had priority over her father’s younger brother. Hanover’s semi-Salic Law meant that females were ineligible unless there were no male agnates left in the entire dynasty, i.e. the original founding King dynasty had no legitimate male agnates left whatsoever. (Semi-Salic is distinct from Salic Law in which females are completely ineligible – a new King from a new dynasty must be selected when the old dynasty goes extinct.)

I’ve previously mentioned an application of semi-Salic law that I found astonishing. While Isabella and her son, King Edward III, were bypassed in favor of Isabella’s 1st cousin …

Ironically, the entire House of Nassau went extinct on the death of Adolf’s only son to reach adulthood, and Luxemburg, like Netherlands, passed to a Queen – a different Queen, since the criterion was kinship to the most recent Monarch.

they were French, they were all queens.

Moderator Note

johnpost, this is offensive on several levels. No warning issued, but let’s save the offensive jokes for the next MPSIMS thread on the subject.

General Questions Moderator

Another practical politics reason for Queens regnant in England was that England had gone through a bloody dynastic war, the War of the Roses, and much of the close heirs had been killed off. The Tudors were very distant from the main Plantagent line, and Henry VII succeeded on the “last man standing” rule.

When Edward VI died, there were no close, obvious males to succeed, so Mary I was a strong candidate to avoid re-opening the dynastic struggle. (Note that the closest candidate that some Protestants put forward as an alternative to Mary was also a woman: Lady Jane Grey. )

Once Mary died, the precedent had been established and Elizabeth succeeded as a matter of course. Plus, there still weren’t any close male alternatives - James VI hadn’t been born yet.

I read that too many times, but I’m not sure on what it is based, since there has been no actual instance. Maybe a custom in the French nobility, with the assuption it would have applied to the crown too? Maybe at some point there has been twins in the royal lineage and someone had to decide who would be listed 65th in line and who would be listed 66th? maybe it has just been made up by Alexandre Dumas, who is a plausible source, since he imagined that Louis XIV had a twin brother?

A Queen regnant was repugnant to the republicans.

Of course, there were queens of France, but they were queens consort, not queens regnant - although no fewer than nine served as regents for various lengths of time: List of French royal consorts - Wikipedia

An earlier thread on Ernest Augustus and the reign that might have been: If Queen Victoria had died early - Factual Questions - Straight Dope Message Board

A minor plot point in Jeffrey Archer’s excellent political novel First Among Equals is the birth of twins to a British titled couple. The first born is a dullard, while the second is very sharp. The dullard inherits the title and lounges about the family’s stately home to the end of his days; the smart younger brother goes into politics and does very well for himself.

Was it this that lead to the Hundred Years war?

I know Salic Law played a large part in the justification of the Agincourt campaign.