|Coronation of King Charles V of France|
From 1066 Anglo-French relations were shaped by the fact that the Kings of England were vassals of the French Crown because of the lands they held across the Channel, first Normandy and later the territories of the Angevin Empire. From 1328 Kings of England claimed they were the rightful heirs to that same French Crown – the Crown of Charlemagne and Saint Louis. The fate of English lands in France and nothing less than the destiny of the French throne itself were, therefore, at stake when the Hundred Years War began in 1337. Because of this the conflict that followed was shaped by kings and issues of kingship and, in turn, the fate of kings and the very nature of kingship were shaped by the Hundred Years War. This lecture will consider the character of some of the kings whose careers was bound up in the Hundred Years War and how that struggle refashioned the nature of kingship, changing the destinies of monarchs and monarchies in France and England.