Henry IV au Château de Pau

HENRY IV

Of the night of August 4, 1589 where he became effectively king of France, to his entrance in Paris March 22, 1594, Henri must fight against a part of his topics. These, the Ligueurses especially, reproached him religion, but then, they never candle in doubt his legitimacy to the throne of France.

Although him parent with Henri III of Valois, Henri of Navarre was not less of them to the look of the " Leuccessorale " , law "salique" , the successor legitimate of the murdered king. In the order of pretenders, the " Bearnais " was the first male taking down a common ancestor, Saint Louis X Antoine of Bourbon, Henri's father, was the heir of the Bourbon house, the one of the sixth son of Saint Louis, Robert, of Clermont. This lineage had divided in two branches ; the first died out in 1527. The was himself the one of dukes of Vendôme, of which Antoine was the eldest. The monarchist historians, until the Revolution, especially cultivated the paternal branches of the genealogical tree of the Béarnais.

The Hutin and, by mother Marguerite of Valois, the niece of François ler. But Jeanne had been Protestant and too near of the Valoises by blood ; genealogists preferred to go up again to origins the more pure and most orthodox of dynasty " capétienne " .

Parallel to the real genealogy of the king Henri IV, the propaganda developed a mythical genealogy.

This one insists on the national roots and especially carolingiennes of the Bearnais that became the heir of this winner Charlemagne, of this big Charles Martel. He was about appropriating the idea of universal empire and to make Henri arbitrates it and the counterweight of the Christendom.

henryIV It exposed then, according to the taste of the Renaissance, the ancient origin myth and made of the Bearnais Alexander's son, of César and of august. The king of France is then : fearless like a Samson, without gall like a happy David like a Salomon, rich like a Philippe, beautiful as Antigone. On medals and engravings, he appears under features of Persée delivering Andromède, France linked by his divisions.

Written by Christian DESPLAT

More (in French) : Dépeindre Henry IV - Sa Généalogie - Le Sacre.