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Robert II of France

Robert II the Pious (French: Robert II le Pieux) (March 27 972 - July 20 1031) was King of France from 996 to 1031. A member of the Capetian Dynasty, Robert II was born on March 27, 972 in Orléans, France, the son of King Hugh Capet (938-996) and Adelaide of Aquitaine (952-1004).

In 987, Robert's father had the nobles crown him as successor at Orléans on December 30th, thereby confirming the house of Capet as rulers of France. After Robert became king he did as his father and crowned his eldest son Hugh as his successor. But, due to Prince Hugh's death, another son, Henri, became king.

Robert, despite marital problems that saw him temporarily excommunicated by Pope Gregory V, was a very devout Roman Catholic, hence the name Robert the Pious. He was very musically inclined and was a composer, a chorister, and a poet, making his palace a place of religious seclusion, where he conducted the matins and vespers in his royal robes. Part of Robert's piety at the time, was because he did not tolerate heretics and harshly punished them.

The kingdom Robert inherited was not large, and in an effort to increase his power, he vigorously pursued his claim to any of the feudal lands as they became vacant which action usually resulted in war with a counter-claimant. In 1003, his invasion of Burgundy was thwarted and it would not be until 1016 that he was finally able to get the support of the Church and be recognized as the Duke of Burgundy.

The pious King Robert II made few friends and many enemies, including his own sons Henri and Robert. They turned against their father, in a civil war for power and property. King Robert's army was beaten and he retreated to Beaugency outside Paris.

He died in the middle of the war with his sons on July 20, 1031 at Melun, France. He was interred with his third wife, Constance d'Arles (973-July 25, 1032) in Saint Denis Basilica.

He was succeeded by his and Constance's second son, Henri I. He was an ancestor to Isabella of France and Isabella of Castile, and so he is the ancestor to the present-day British royal family, including Elizabeth II, Queen of England.

Robert II married:

  • c. 996, 2) Bertha, Princess of Burgundy (952-1035). Because she was his cousin, Pope Gregory V would not sanction the marriage and Robert was excommunicated. However, after long negotiations with the new Pope Silvester II the marriage was annulled.

Issue (3):

  1. Adáele (Alix) - (1003 - January 8, 1079)
  2. Hugh - (1007-September 17, 1025)
  3. Henry I - (May 4, 1008 - August 4, 1060)
  4. Adelaide Havoise - (1009-June 5, 1063)
  5. Robert - (1011 - March 21, 1076)
  6. Eudo (Odes) - (1013-1056)
  7. Constance - (1014 - unknown)
Preceded by:
Hugh Capet
King of France Succeeded by:
Henry I

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