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European Kingdoms

Western Europe


Principality of Andorra

A tiny territory, Andorra is also known as the 'Principality of the Valleys of Andorra'. It is nestled high in the eastern Pyrenees on the modern French-Spanish border, lying between the French départements of Ariège and Pyrénées-Orientales to the north and the Spanish provinces of Gerona and Lérida to the south. Its total boundary stretches to 120.3 kilometres (74.6 miles).

Andorra was created by a charter of AD 988, although tradition asserts that Charlemagne originally granted the Andorran people a charter in return for their help in fighting the Moors of the Islamic empire in the late eighth century, and that Charlemagne's son Louis I, king of France, confirmed the charter. It is generally agreed that Charles the Bald, the son of Louis, appointed the count of Urgel (or Urgell) as overlord of Andorra and gave him the right to collect the imperial tribute. The bishop of Urgel, however, also claimed Andorra as part of the endowment of his cathedral. In 1226, the lords of the county of Foix, in modern south-central France, by marriage became heirs to the counts of Urgel. The quarrels between the Spanish bishop and the French counts over rights in Andorra led in 1278 to their adoption of a paéage, a feudal institution that recognised the equal rights of two lords to a seigniorage. The Treaty of Joint Suzerainty between the bishop of Urgel in Spain and France's count of Foix would see them acting as co-princes. The latter's descendants inherited Navarre in 1479 and then France in 1589, heralding the Bourbon dynasty. In time they were replaced by France's emperor and restored kings, and later by the presidents of the republic, but each of those heads of state has fulfilled the function of co-prince of Andorra.

The capital is at Andorra la Vella, in the south-west. Most of the country is rough and mountainous, and there is little level surface. All of the valleys are at least nine hundred metres high, meaning that winters are severe. Andorra was once heavily forested, and one explanation for the name of the country is that it came from the Moorish word aldarra, meaning 'place thick with trees'. An alternative tradition asserts that Charlemagne gave the region its name for its supposed likeness to the biblical town of Endor. However, the Greek historian Polybius noted that the Iberian tribe, the Andosini (Andosins, as he named them), occupied the valleys here, long before the coming of the Moors or of Charlemagne. Whilst the state is managed both by France and Spain, the predominant spoken language is Catalan. All other regional languages are also spoken within the principality to a lesser degree.

(Information by Peter Kessler, with additional information from Funk & Wagnalls New Encyclopaedia, 1985 Edition (Revised 1993), from La Ciudadela de Barcelona: Cataluña vindicada, Lluís Cutchet, from Los Condes de Barcelona Vindicados, y Cronología y Genealogía de los Reyes de España considerados como Soberianos Independientes de su Marca. Tomo I: abraza los siete primeros, desde el año 874 al 1035, Prosper de Bofarull, 1836 (reprinted 1990), and from External Links: Encyclopaedia.com, and Lleida Tourism, and Enciclopèdia Catalana, SAU, and Representació de SE Copríncep Francès (in French and Catalan).)


Tradition asserts that the Frankish King Charlemagne grants the Andorran people a charter in return for their help in fighting the Moors of the Islamic empire. Charlemagne is known to conduct a campaign against the Umayyad Arabs in Spain in 778, so this could be the point at which Andorra provides support. Confirmation seems to come around 785 when the county of Urgel is created as a division of the march (border area) of Toulouse following territorial seizures from the Umayyads by the Franks.

The king's son, Louis I, king of Aquitaine from 781 (and France 814-840), reputedly confirms the charter, and the creation of the Cathedral of Urgel in 839 does show increasing Christian support for this region. It is generally agreed that Charles the Bald (840-877), the son of Louis, appoints the count of Urgel as overlord of Andorra and gives him the right to collect the imperial tribute. A Visigothic noble by the name of Borrell is the first count of Urgel, Cerdanya, and Osona (the latter from 799).

c.798 - 820


Appointed by Charles the Bald of the Western Franks.

799 - 801

Having been appointed count of the newly captured territories of Urgel and Cerdanya, Borrell is an important part of the conquest of Osona in 799 and Barcelona in 801. The latter victory follows a siege of the city. He is awarded the county of Osona, possibly in thanks for his contribution towards the reconquest of occupied Iberia and the extension of Aquitaine's Marca Hispania or Spanish March (a march being a Germanic word for borderlands).

Andorra's mountainous landscape offers a very mixed selection of terrain, from lush valleys to high Pyrenean peaks and the Circ del Pessons shown here, a natural amphitheatre in the area of Grau Roig


Following Borrell's death, Osona is granted to Rampon, count of Barcelona, while Urgel and Cerdanya pass to the Basque noble, Aznar I Galíndez of Aragon, following his overthrow and exile from that county.

820 - 824

Aznar I Galíndez

Count of Aragon. Exiled and succeeded Borrell. Died 839.

824 - 834

Galindo I Aznárez

Son. Reclaimed Aragon in 844. Died 867.

834 - 838

Sunifred, son-in-law of Belló, count of Carcassonne, is granted Urgel and Cerdanya by Louis the Pious, who has progressed from his early role as king of Aquitaine to ruling the Frankish empire. Sunifred conquers Cerdanya in 835 and Urgel in 838. The dispossessed Galindo soon goes on to reclaim Aragon for himself.

834 - 848

Sunifred I

Count of Barcelona (844), Girona-Osona, & Urgel-Cerdanya.

840 - 843

Before his death, Louis of the Franks proclaims that his eldest son, Lothar, will be sole beneficiary of the imperial dignity and sole inheritor of the empire. The new idea provokes rebellions and rivalries between all four of Louis' sons which last until after the king's death. (One of the sons, Pepin I of Aquitaine, has already predeceased his father.)

Lothar initially claims overlordship over all three regions and Louis and Charles have to go to war to convince him to relent. The counties of the Spanish March all take sides during this period, with the powerful Bernard of Septimania, count of Barcelona (along with a large number of other marches and counties, including Agde, Béziers, Girona, Melgueil, Narbonne, Nîmes, Septimania, and Toulouse, capital of Aquitaine) siding with Pepin II of Aquitaine. Opposing them in favour of Charles are Sunifred, count of Urgel and Cerdanya, his brother Sunyer I, count of Empúries, their sons (who collectively are sometimes referred to as the Bellonid dynasty or the Bellonids), Ricwin, count of Nantes (killed in battle in 841), and Lambert II, also later count of Nantes.

Lothar does relent in 843, and the Treaty of Verdun confirms the official division of the empire between Charlemagne's surviving three grandsons, with rule over the empire as a whole being nominal.

841 - 844

Taking advantage of the chaos in the Frankish empire, the Umayyads invade Barcelona and penetrate Cerdanya as they attack Narbonne. Sunifred, count of Urgel and Cerdanya, stops the invasion dead in its tracks. When, in 844, Charles the Bald captures Toulouse and Aquitaine from Pepin II, he has Bernard of Septimania executed and grants Barcelona and Girona - and also the march territory of Gothia - to Sunifred.


William of Septimania, son of the executed Bernard, had risen against Charles the Bald in 844, but has largely been unable to reclaim his father's lands until now. William is granted Toulouse and Empúries by Pepin II the rival king of Aquitaine, and he quickly removes both brothers, Sunifred in Barcelona and Sunyer in Empúries, although the former is known to die of natural causes.

848 - 870


Appointed count of Urgel-Cerdanya. Died between 868-870.

870 - 897

Wilfred the Hairy

Son of Sunifred. Count of Barcelona and others.

898 - 948

Sunifred II


948 - 966

Miró de Barcelona

Co-ruler of Barcelona with Borrell II.


The Catalan House of Caboet occupies the Cabó and Saint John valleys (along modern Andorra's border), with their power originating in the former. They emerge into history around this time as loyal subjects of the bishops of Urgel. The bishopric itself has existed since the death of St Just d'Urgel around 546, under the jurisdiction of Tarragona.

Cathedral of Santa Maria d'Urgel
The bishopric of Urgel gained a diocesan seat in 1116, in the form of the Cathedral of Santa Maria d'Urgel, in Seu d'Urgel, although the diocese itself existed at least as early as the sixth century AD

966 - 992

Borrell II

Count of Barcelona, Girona, & Osona.


Borrell II, count of Barcelona, Girona, Ausona (from 940), and Urgel (from 948), grants the Andorran valleys to the diocese of Urgel in exchange for land in Cerdanya.

fl c.1010

Isarn Caboet

Lady of Caboet.

? - 1095

Guitard Caboet

Son. Lord of Caboet.


The bishop of Urgel is aware that the current count of Urgel desires the return of Andorra to his control, so support and protection are requested of the lord of Caboet. The bishop and the lord sign and seal a declaration of their co-sovereignty over Andorra (it is unclear whether this lord is Guitard or his successor, Guillem Guitard).

1095 - ?

Guillem Guitard Caboet

Son. Lord of Caboet.


Miró Guitard Caboet

Son. Lord of Caboet.

1114 - 1150

Peter I

Viscount of Alt Urgel. Gained Cerdanya (1126). Viscount (1127).

1126 - 1127

Peter I, viscount of Urgel is the first to assume the title viscount of Castellbò, following his marriage to Sybil, heir to the viscounty of Cerdanya. He and his successors are shown here in green to avoid confusion with the House of Caboet.


Ramon Caboet

Son of Miró. Lord of Caboet.

? - 1170

Arnau Caboet

Son. Lord of Caboet. Died without male issue.

1150 - 1185

Ramon II Castellbò

Son of Peter I. Viscount of Castellbò (Alt Urgell & Cerdanya).


The oath of 1095 between the Caboet and the bishopric of Urgel is now confirmed by a treaty between Viscount Arnau and Bernat Sanç (Sancho), bishop of Urgel. This treaty also stipulates that although the House of Caboet still exercises co-sovereignty, it is not able to exercise rights over politicians, the military, or judicial matters.


The widowed Arnalda, daughter of Arnau of Caboet, has remained under the protection of the bishop of Urgel following the death of her father and her first husband, Bertran de Tarascon. Now she marries the future Viscount Arnau of Castellbò ('the castle, stronghold'), joining together that title with Cerdanya and making the viscount's descendants the successors of the House of Caboet. Arnalda dies in 1201 or 1203.

1185 - 1226

Arnau Castellbò

Son. Viscount of Castellbò. Married Arnalda Caboet.


Concerned that the viscounts of Castellbò may be tempted to exercise too much power in Andorra, the bishop of Urgel ensures that Arnau Castellbò is not recognised by the Andorrans as their lord without his consent.


The daughter of Arnalda and her husband, the viscount of Castellbò, is Ermessenda. She now marries Roger Bernat II, the count of Foix in south-central France. They become Roger Bernat II and Ermessenda I, counts of Foix, viscounts of Castellbò and Cerdanya, and co-sovereigns of Andorra (still shared with the bishop of Urgel).

1226 - 1230

Ermessenda Castellbò

Daughter. Viscountess of Castellbò. Married Roger Bernat II.

1230 - 1240

Roger Bernat I (Roger Bernat II of Foix)

Husband. Count of Foix. Administered Andorra from 1230.

1240 - 1265

Roger (Roger IV of Foix)

Administered Andorra from 1240.

1265 - 1278

Roger Bernat II (Roger Bernat III of Foix)



Quarrels between the Spanish bishop of Urgel and the French counts over rights in Andorra leads now to their adoption of a paéage, a feudal institution that recognises the equal rights of two lords to a seigniorage. The Treaty of Joint Suzerainty between the bishop of Urgel and the count of Foix will see them acting as co-princes. The numbering for the counts of Foix now ignores Castellbò's numbering and naming assumes a more Anglicised format thanks to the records used to source the information.



1278 - 1293

Pedro d'Urg / d'Urtx

Bishop of Urgel since 1269.

1278 - 1302

Roger Bernard III

Count of Foix and viscount of Castellbò. Killed.

1290 - 1302

The wife of Roger Bernard inherits the viscounty of Bearn. In 1295 he is appointed governor of Gascony and his first act is to return the two castles that he had early seized. He is mortally wounded in 1302 fighting the Catalans, and dies in Tarascon (Tarascó). His body is placed in the Cistercian Abbey of Bolbona.

1295 - 1308

Guillem de Montcada

1302 - 1315

Gaston I

Son. Count of Foix and viscount of Castellbò.

1309 - 1326

Ramón Trebaylla


Gaston II of Foix and IX of Bearn inherits these titles from his father in 1308, but the viscount of Castellbò passes to his brother, Roger Bernat (Bernard). During his lifetime he gains other titles in the form of viscount of Lautrec, Marsan and Gabardà, lord of Andorra (in 1315), and also Donasà.

County of Foix
The county of Foix was situated in south-eastern France, touching the Pyrenees at its lowest point and providing a western neighbour to the important regional centre of Narbonne

1315 - 1343

Gaston II

Son. Count of Foix. Died 1343 and buried in Bolbona Abbey.

1326 - 1341

Arnau de Llordà

1341 - 1347

Pere de Narbona

1343 - 1391

Gaston III Phoebus

Son. Count of Foix. Failed to produce a legitimate male heir.

1348 - 1351

Niccolo Capocci

1351 - 1361

Hug Desbac

1362 - 1364

Guillem Arnau de Patau

1365 - 1370

Pero de Luna

1371 - 1388

Berenguer D'Erill

1388 - 1415

Galceran de Vilanova


With Gaston's failure to produce a recognisable heir for the county of Foix, the title passes to his cousin Matthew. As the viscount of Castellbò since 1381, Matthew is able to reunify the two titles.

1391 - 1396


Cousin. Count of Foix, and viscount of Castellbò.


Matthew invades Catalonia to further his claim to its throne upon the death of John I of Aragon. He is forced to abandon his attempt in the face of Martin the Humane's stronger claim which also appears to threaten his own position in terms of Andorra. Martin seizes Castellvi Rosanes and Moncada from Matthew.

1396 - 1398


Restored. Died without producing an heir.


Upon Matthew's death without his having produced a legitimate make heir, his estate and titles pass to Isabel (Isabella) or Elizabeth Castellbó, who is usually referred to as Isabel de Foix. She has already (in 1381) married Arquimbald de Grailly, lord of Grailly, but it takes the French king four years to recognise his role as count of Foix because he is allied to the English.


1398 - 1413


Sister. Countess of Foix, and viscountess of Castellbò.

1398 - 1413

Archibald / Arquimbald

Husband and joint prince of Andorra with Isabella.

1408 - 1409

William III of Narbonne lands on Sardinia on 8 December 1408 to be crowned king, but Martin the Humane's son, Martin the Younger, has already landed a force of his own from Sicily (on 6 October), with a subsidiary force of men under the command of John, son of Arquimbald and Isabella. The two meet at the Battle of Sanluri in 1409 and the battle is a disaster for William. He is forced to flee to France for assistance, but Martin of Sicily dies of malaria a few days after the battle.

1413 - 1426

With the death of Arquimbald, Isabella hands everyday administrative duties to their son, John. The countess remains nominally in overall authority until her own death in 1426. In 1415, Henry V of England wins a surprise victory at the Battle of Agincourt. One of the relatively small number of commanders to survive on the French side is John I, count of Foix. Five years later, Charles VI cedes France to Henry V in the Treaty of Troyes. The king's son, Charles VII, apparently dispossessed, refuses to heed his father's commands and sets up a rival claim to the throne, accompanied by John of Foix.

1413 - 1436

John I

Son. Prince John of Foix, count of Foix, viscount of Bearn.

1416 - 1436

Francesc de Tovia

1436 - 1472

Gaston IV

Son. Count of Foix. Married to Eleanore, infanta of Aragon.

1437 - 1461

Arnau Roger de Pallars

1462 - 1466

Jaume de Cardona

1467 - 1472

Roderic de Borja

Pope Alexander VI in 1492.

1471 - 1472

Louis XI of France refuses to recognise the rights of the Foix in Navarre, and Gaston teams up with his new son-in-law, Francis II of Brittany (who has just married Princess Margarita of Foix in the same year), and also Charles the Bold of Burgundy, and revolts. However, he quickly dissolves the alliance and flees to Navarre where he heads the supporters of his wife, Eleanore. He dies at Roncesvalles in 1472.

1472 - 1515

Pere de Cardona

1472 - 1483

Francis Phoebus

Grandson. Count of Foix. King of Navarre. Poisoned?


Eleanore is the daughter of Blanca and John II, king of Aragon. Married to Gaston IV, count of Foix and co-prince of Andorra, she is already a widow by now (with Gaston dying in 1472). Instead, their grandson, Francis Phoebus, succeeds as king of Navarre, and has already served as the count of Foix and co-prince of Andorra since 1472. (His father, Gaston of Foix, son of Gaston IV, had predeceased his father in 1470.)

1483 - 1512


Sister. Countess of Foix. Queen. m John III of Navarre.


Germaine of Foix marries Ferdinand II, king of Aragon, Navarre and Sicily, and soon to be the regent of Castile, thereby bringing the lordship of Andorra under Spanish rule.

1512 - 1513

Most of the kingdom of Navarre is seized by Aragon and then Castile under Ferdinand of Navarre and then his son, Charles I of a united Spain. Pamplona is occupied, Upper Navarre is annexed, and the title of viscount of Castellbò is confiscated. For a brief period they also hold authority over Andorra. The remainder of Navarre - now termed French Navarre - is still held by Catherine and John II, as are the counties of Foix and Bigorra, and the viscounties of Bearn and Marsan.


1512 - 1517


Reduced to French Navarre. Countess of Foix.

1512 - 1516

John II

Husband, and co-ruler of French Navarre.

1515 - 1530

Joan D'espés


On taking over the kingdoms of Castile, Navarre, and Aragon under the banner of a united Spain, Charles I of Habsburg grants the lordship of Les Valls (The Valleys), as it is currently known, to Germaine of Foix's line in perpetuity.

French Navarre
The poor lands of French Navarre were filled with small farms abutting the jagged hills of the Pyrenees, with most of the working population having Basque ancestry - linking them directly to the earliest hunter-gatherer settlers in Europe

1516 - 1555

Henry II

Son. Co-ruler in French Navarre following father's death.

1532 - 1533

Pere Jordan de Urries

1534 - 1551

Francesc de Urries

1552 - 1556

Miquel Despuig

1555 - 1572

Jeanne III d'Albret

Daughter. Queen of French Navarre and countess of Foix.


1555 - 1562

Anthony / Antoine

Husband and co-ruler with Jeanne III. Duc de Vendome.

1556 - 1560

Joan Pérez García de Olivan

1561 - 1571

Pere de Castellet

1560 - 1562

A massacre of Protestants by Catholics near Paris in 1562 ignites the first of eight French Wars of Religion. Jeanne and Anthony have already introduced reforms in French Navarre and Bearn in line with Jeanne's Calvinist beliefs. Anthony's own brother, Louis I Bourbon, prince of Condé, had already been arrested and sentenced to death (in 1560) for supporting the Protestant cause. As the conflict begins, Anthony is in Rouen, where he is harried and where he dies on 10 November 1562.

1562 - 1610

Henry III

Son. Duke of Bourbon. King of France (1589-1610).

1568 - 1571

The French king, Charles IX, orders the confiscation of the lands of his Protestant opponents. The Catholics of Bearn, part of the holdings of Jeanne III, led by Terride, rebel and take power as royal troops do elsewhere. The peace of Longjumeau of 23 March 1568, ends the Second French War of Religion but almost immediately the Third French War of Religion begins in September 1568. The Battle of Jarnac on 12 March 1569 kills the prince of Condé, the Protestant leader, and Henry of Navarre is appointed the new political leader while military leadership is in the hands of Gaspard de Coligny.

In August 1569, Jeanne III regains her estates with the arrival of the forces of Duke Francis de Montmorency. On 8 August of 1570 the Peace of Saint-Germain-en-Laye is signed. In 1571 the status of Calvinism is formalised in Bearn and Navarre as the state religion, and shortly afterwards Jeanne negotiates a union between her son, Henry of Navarre, with Marguerite de Valois, sister of Charles IX of France, although she does not live to see the union effected.

1572 - 1576

Joan Dimes Lloris

1577 - 1579

Miquel Jeroni Morell

1580 - 1586

Hug Ambròs de Montcada

1587 - 1609

Andreu Capella


Henry III, king of France, recognises the Protestant Henry III, duc de Bourbon, king of French Navarre, and co-prince of Andorra as his successor. The League of Cambrai and the duc de Guise are far from happy about this, but Henry has the duke of Guise assassinated at Blois. King Henry himself is stabbed to death on 2 August 1589 by the Dominican Jacques Clément. Henry of Navarre succeeds him as King Henry IV of France.

1589 - 1596

The League refuses to recognise Henry IV as king of France and he has to conquer his way to power. His conversion to Catholicism at Saint-Denis (1589) followed by his coronation at Chatres (1594), opens Paris to him. His reconquest continues with the the Edict of Nantes (1594) and the taking of Amiens (1596), which ends the civil wars.

Henry IV enters Paris
The entrance of Henry IV into Paris in 1594 as depicted in oils and which marked the victory of the Bourbons of French Navarre in their efforts to claim the throne


By edict, Henry III of France, French Navarre, and Foix, establishes the head of the French state, along with the bishop of Urgel, as co-princes of Andorra.

1610 - 1620

Bernat de Salvà

1610 - 1643

Louis XIII

Son. King of France (1610-1643).

1610 - 1617

Louis XIII, just aged nine when he ascends the French throne, is at first excluded from power by his powerful mother who acts as regent. Her co-regent, Concini, is assassinated on Louis' orders in 1617. Further afield during this century, French piracy in the Caribbean, mainly targeted at wealthy Spanish ships and the colony of Hispaniola, becomes firmly established.

1621 - 1627

Lluis Diez Aux de Armendáriz

1627 - 1633

Antoni Pérez

1634 - 1651

Pau Duran

1643 - 1715

Louis XIV

Son. King of France (1643-1715).

1643 - 1661

FeatureWith Louis' agreement, Cardinal Mazarin (along with the king's mother) governs France until Mazarin's death in 1661, by which time the king is twenty-three. During his reign, Louis establishes an absolute monarchy, but is almost constantly at war internally, owing to the revolts of a people overburdened by taxation and opposition from princes of the blood, disappointed from being progressively excluded from power. This process is accelerated when the king removes his court to the newly-built Palace of Versailles, just outside Paris, where he is able to control the court and small council of the few faithful.

1655 - 1663

Joan Manuel Espinosa

1664 - 1670

Melcior Palau

1671 - 1681

Pere de Copons

1682 - 1688

Joan Baptista Desbac

1689 - 1694

Oleguer de Montserrat

1695 - 1714

Julián Cano y Tovar

1702 - 1715

Portugal initially supports France during the War of Spanish Succession but Britain alters the situation with the signing of the Methuen Treaty with Portugal on 16 May 1703. In December 1703 a military alliance between Austria, Britain, and Portugal sees them invade Spain. The allied forces capture Madrid in 1706, although the campaign ends in a defeat at the Battle of Almansa. The conclusion of the war in 1715 ensures that the Bourbon crowns of Spain and France can never be united under a single ruler.

1714 - 1737

Simeón de Guinda y Apéztegui

1715 - 1774

Louis XV

Great-grandson. King of France (1715-1774).

1738 - 1747

Jorge Curado y Torreblanca

1740 - 1748

The War of the Austrian Succession is a wide-ranging conflict that encompasses the North American King George's War, two Silesian Wars, the War of Jenkins' Ear, and involves most of the crowned heads of Europe in deciding the question of whether Maria Theresa can succeed as archduke of Austria and, perhaps even more importantly, as Holy Roman Emperor.

War of the Austrian Succession
The War of the Austrian Succession saw Europe go to war to decide whether Maria Theresa would secure the throne left to her by her father, but several other issues were also decided as a wide range of wars were involved in the overall conflict

Austria is supported by Britain, the Netherlands, the Savoyard kingdom of Sardinia, and Saxony (after an early switchover), but opposed by an opportunistic Prussia and France, who had raised the question in the first place to disrupt Habsburg control of Central Europe, backed up by Bavaria and Sweden (briefly). Spain joins the war in an unsuccessful attempt to restore possessions lost to Austria in 1715.

1747 - 1756

Sebastián de Victoria de Emparán y de Loyola

1757 - 1762

Francisco José Catalán de Ocón

1763 - 1771

Francisco Fernández de Xátiva

1772 - 1779

Joaquín de Santiyán y Valdivieso

1774 - 1792

Louis XVI

Grandson. King of France (1774-1792).

1780 - 1783

Juan García Montenegro

1785 - 1795

José de Boltas

1789 - 1792

Louis XVI is unable to impose the reforms he wants in France and fails to support his more competent ministers. An economic crisis aggravated by the American War of Independence leads the government to convene the states general on 5 May 1789. Ill-advised and influenced by the queen, Louis leads the monarchy to its fall. The French Revolution begins on 14 July with the storming of the Bastille prison during a popular uprising in Paris. On 10 August 1792 the Tuileries is taken by the Paris mob, signalling the end of the Ancien Régime. The king is deposed and imprisoned in the Temple with his family, and is condemned to death by a narrow majority.

1792 - 1795

Louis XVII

Son. Uncrowned king of France.

1793 - 1794

The ex-king, Louis XVI, is executed by guillotine on 21 January, while his brother (the future Louis XVIII) has already fled the country. On 6 April, the Committee of Public Safety is created in Paris, headed by Maximilien Robespierre and so begins 'The Terror'. In the same year, the French revolutionary government refuses the traditional Andorran tribute because it smacks of feudalism. French suzerainty is renounced, despite the wish of the Andorrans to enjoy French protection and avoid being under exclusively Spanish influence.

1795 - 1806


Position refused by the French Directory.

1797 - 1816

Francisco Antonio de la Dueña y Cisneros

1798 - 1799

Following Napoleon's failed expedition to Egypt, the French Directory is swept away by a coup on '18 Brumaire', 9 November. Although several members of the failing Directory support the coup, one of its main instigators is Napoleon himself. He becomes the head of the new government as First Consul.

1804 - 1806

Napoleon Bonaparte gravitates France towards the creation of the First Empire, convinced that creating a new French monarchy and embedding it in the constitution will make a Bourbon restoration much harder. In 1806, he restores the co-principality after the Andorrans have petitioned him to do so. French title to the principality subsequently passes from the emperor and then kings to the presidents of France.


1806 - 1814

Napoleon I Bonaparte

Emperor of France (1804-1814).

1814 - 1806

Napoleon is defeated and abdicates the thrones of France and Italy. The Bourbon monarchy is restored under Louis XVIII, and the czar of Russia, less antagonistic towards the former emperor than other European monarchs, helps in the choice of the Mediterranean island of Elba as a small kingdom to which Napoleon can retire.

French defend against Prussians. Leipzig 1813
French grenadiers of the line defend against an attack by Prussian infantry in the three-day Battle of Leipzig in October 1813, dubbed the 'Battle of the Nations' due to the number of states involved, in this 1914 painting by Richard Knötel


1814 - 1815


Brother of Louis XVI. King of France (1814-1815).

1814 - 1815

Payments to Napoleon from France towards his upkeep, as promised by the victorious allies, never arrive because Louis XVIII blocks them. Eventually, in 1815, Napoleon abandons his exile for the Hundred Days rule, and Louis XVIII flees to Belgium.



Napoleon I Bonaparte

Restored as emperor of France (1815).


FeatureEurope mobilises against France and the duke of Wellington's Anglo-Dutch-German army defeats Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo on 18 June in conjunction with the Prussian army, ending twenty-five years of war in Europe. The French monarchy is restored.


1815 - 1824


Restored king of France (1815-1824).

1817 - 1824

Bernardo Francés y Caballero

1820 - 1823

King Ferdinand VII of Spain is detained by rebels after refusing to adopt the new and liberal Spanish Constitution of 1812. It takes until 1822 for European states to react and in 1823, under general agreement by those states, French forces invade Spain to restore Ferdinand, supported by Charles Albert, the future Savoyard king of Sardinia. The Battle of Trocadero sees the French attack a fort from the seaward side to secure access to Cadiz itself, which falls after a three week siege. Ferdinand is freed to take his revenge, executing around 30,000 people.

1824 - 1827

Bonifacio López y Pulido

1824 - 1830

Charles X

Brother. King of France. Deposed by July Revolution. Died 1836.

1827 - 1851

Simón de Guardiola y Hortoneda


1830 - 1848

Louis Philippe

Duc de Orleans. King of France (1830-1848).

1847 - 1848

An economic crisis in 1847 is the final straw for the working classes in France, after a steady worsening in their general conditions under the king's rule. In a year of European revolutions in 1848 (Ireland, Lombardy-Ventia, and Wallachia also suffer), they revolt against the government and the monarchy is overthrown. Louis Philippe abdicates in favour of his grandson and flees to Britain, mindful of the fate of Louis XVI in 1793. Public opinion is against his grandson being crowned, so on 26 February the French Second Republic is declared.


1848 - 1871

Louis Napoleon III

President, and then emperor of France (1852-1871).


Prince Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, who has been president of France since December 1848, now declares himself emperor, and the republic is replaced by the Second Empire.

1853 - 1879

José Caixal y Estrada

1870 - 1871

Napoleon III refuses to accept the possibility of the Prussian Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen gaining the Spanish throne, and ends up personally insulting the king of Prussia. The disagreement leads to France going to war against Prussia, but the country is humiliated with defeat and an invasion by Prussia's armies, leading to the siege of Paris. The empire collapses and Louis Napoleon goes into exile in England where he later dies and is buried.



FeatureA series of republics replaces any further attempts at forming a French monarchy or empire. The French Third Republic is formed in 1871, although it almost founders with the crushing of the Paris Commune and the majority decision to select a new king. Henri, count of Chambord and former duke of Bordeaux, who had been unconfirmed king for eleven days in 1830, refuses to acknowledge the tricolour as the national flag of France and the restoration is effectively sabotaged.

French Zouaves in the Crimea
This illustration of French Zouaves (light infantry, generally drawn from North Africa) in the Crimea was published in The Charleston Mercury on 21 November 1861

1871 - 1873

Louis Adolphe Thiers

President of France.

1873 - 1879

Patrice M de MacMahon

President of France.

1879 - 1887

Francois P J Grévy

President of France.

1879 - 1901

Salvador Casanas y Pagés

1887 - 1894

Marie Sadi Carnot

President of France.

1894 - 1895

Jean Casimir Périer

President of France.

1895 - 1899

Francois Félix Faure

President of France.

1899 - 1906

Émile Loubet

President of France.


Ramón Riu y Cabanes

1905 - 1906

Juan José Laguarda y Fonollera

1906 - 1913

Juan Benlloch y Vivó

1906 - 1919

Clement Armand Fallieres

President of France.

1913 - 1920

Raymond Poincaré

President of France.

1914 - 1918

Having jointly guaranteed in 1839 to support the neutrality of Belgium, when the country is invaded by Germany, Britain, France and Russia are forced to declare war at midnight on 4 August 1914. The German armies head towards Paris before being halted and retreating to what becomes the Western Front just inside French territory. A ceasefire is agreed with the remnants of the Austro-Hungarian empire by British, French, and Italian forces on 3 November 1918, effectively ending the First World War.

1920 - 1940

Justino Guitart y Vilardebó


Paul E L Deschanel

President of France.

1920 - 1924

Alexandre Millerand

President of France.

1924 - 1931

Gaston Doumergue

President of France.

1931 - 1932

Paul Doumer

President of France.

1932 - 1940

Albert Lebrun

President of France.




Boris I

Usurper. Ruled for a few days.


FeatureBoris is an adventurer who proclaims himself king of Andorra, regent for the 'king of France', Jean d'Orléans, duc de Guise (heir presumptive to the throne of France), 'true count of Foix and Berne', ancient princes of Andorra. After a reign of eight days he is deposed by the bishop of Urgel and the French president, and is arrested and deported soon afterwards.

1939 - 1944

The Nazi German invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939 is the trigger for the Second World War. With both France and Britain pledged to support Poland, both countries have no option but to declare war on 3 September. After a lightening march through the Netherlands and Belgium, France is occupied by the Nazi war machine in 1940, ending the Third Republic. Vichy (Fascist) rule is allowed as a puppet state in southern France (and Algeria).

1940 - 1944

Henri Philippe

President of France.

1942 - 1969

Ramón Iglesias Navarri

Bishop of Urgel.


A provisional government is established in France following the liberation of Paris on 25 August 1944. Marshal Henri Philippe Pétain, hero of Verdun in the First World War, is condemned to death for his part in appeasing the Nazis, but his sentences is commuted to life imprisonment.


1944 - 1946

Charles de Gaulle

Chairman of the provisional government of France.


Félix Gouin

Chairman of the provisional government of France.

1946 - 1947

Georges Bidault

Chairman of the provisional government of France.

1944 - 1947

The Fourth Republic is declared in France, almost as a continuation of the Third Republic before it. Unfortunately it is eventually discredited by inflation and colonial defeats.


1947 - 1954

Vincent Auriol

President of France.

1954 - 1959

René Coty

President of France.

1959 - 1969

Charles de Gaulle

President of France.

1960s - 1980s

Long an impoverished land with little contact with any nations other than the adjoining France and Spain, following the conclusion of the Second World War, Andorra achieves considerable prosperity through a developing tourist industry. This development is assisted by improvements in transport and communications. It serves to break down Andorra's isolation and to bring Andorrans into the mainstream of European history. Public demands for democratic reforms lead to the extension of the franchise to women in the 1970s and to the creation of new and more fully autonomous organs of government in the early 1980s.

Modern Andorra
Modern Andorra quickly became a typical Western European location, but one that retained the stunning scenery of some of the highest levels of the Pyrenees

1969 - 1971

Ramón Malla Call

Bishop of Urgel.

1969 - 1974

Georges Pompidou

President of France.

1971 - 2003

Juan Marti Alanis

Bishop of Urgel.

1974 - 1981

Valéry Giscard d'Estaing

President of France.

1981 - 1995

Francois Mitterrand

President of France.

1991 - 1993

Andorra enters into a customs union with the European Communities (latterly the European Union) and is admitted to the United Nations on 28 July 1993. The country has long been seeking ways of improving its export potential and increase its economic ties with its European neighbours. The economy's financial services sector is highly important, given Andorra's status as a tax haven and its banking secrecy laws.


Bishop Juan Marti Alanis of Urgel and President Francois Mitterrand of France are co-signatories of Andorra's new constitution. The principality finally becomes a parliamentary democracy. The new constitution retains the French and Spanish co-princes, albeit with reduced, and narrowly defined powers. Civil rights are greatly expanded to include the legalisation of political parties and trade unions, and provision is made for an independent judiciary.

1995 - 2007

Jacques Chirac

President of France.

2003 - Present

Joan Enric Vives Sicilia

Bishop of Urgel. Elevated to archbishop as a personal title.

2007 - 2012

Nicolas Sarkozy

President of France.

2012 - Present

François Hollande

President of France.