Hugh Capet the founder of the Capetian dynasty. The son of a Frankish
duke, he inherited vast estates in the regions of Paris and Orléans, which made
him one of the most powerful vassals in France and a serious threat to the Carolingian king, Lothar. By 985 Hugh was the ruler of France in
all but name, and two years later he was elected king. He immediately crowned
his own son to ensure the line of succession, a practice continued until the
time of Louis VII. He mediated disputes among
French nobles and survived a conspiracy to betray him to Otto III.
Hugh Capet died on 24 October 996 in Paris and was interred in the Saint Denis Basilica. His son Robert continued to
Most historians regard the beginnings of modern France with the coronation of
Hugh Capet. This is because, as Count of Paris, he made the city his power
centre. The monarch began a long process of exerting control of the rest of the
country from there.
The direct Capetians, or the House of Capet, ruled
France from 987 to 1328; thereafter, the Kingdom was ruled by collateral
branches of the dynasty. All French kings through Louis
Philippe, and all royal pretenders since then, have belonged to the dynasty.
As of 2009 , members of the Capetian dynasty are still the heads of state
of the kingdom of Spain (in the person of
the Bourbon Juan Carlos)
and of the grand-duchy of Luxembourg.