Philip of France (1116–1131)
|King of the Franks|
|Co-reign||14 April 1129 – 13 October 1131|
|Coronation||14 April 1129|
|Born||29 August 1116|
13 October 1131 (aged 15)|
|Burial||Saint Denis Basilica|
|Father||Louis VI of France|
|Mother||Adélaide of Maurienne|
The favourite son of his father as a child, Philip was enthroned alongside Louis VI as joint 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 travelled by his father and, by his overweening pride and tyrannical arrogance, made himself a burden to all."
Philip's brief period as 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. He was buried at St Denis, 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.
|Ancestors of Philip of France (1116–1131)|
- Walter Map, De Nugis Curialium, p. 285.
- Ordericus Vitalis, The Ecclesiastical History of England and Normandy, v. 4, p. 129.
- 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.