Louis XIV and Louis XV

Louis XIV reigned from 1643 to 1715 – 72 years and 110 days – longer than any other monarch of a major European country. He was predeceased by two generations of his heirs – all within a year, and less than five years before his own death. His son, Louis "le Grand Dauphin", died suddenly on 14 April 1711, aged 49; the Grand Dauphin's son, Louis "le Petit Dauphin", died just ten months later, aged 29; and his eldest son Louis died less than three weeks later, in March 1712, aged just five – leaving his two–year–old brother (also known as Louis, according to the Bourbon custom) as heir apparent. Louis XV was himself just five years old when he succeeded to the throne on 1 September 1715. He reigned for 59 years – only 13 years less than his great–grandfather – before dying in 1774, at the age of 64. Between them, Louis XIV and XV reigned for 131 years – from the English Civil War to the American War of Independence.

© Haydn Thompson 2017