Counts and dukes of Alençon

Coat of arms of the counts of Alençon of the House of Belleme.
Coat of arms of the counts and dukes of Alençon of the House of Valois.

Several counts and then royal dukes of Alençon have figured in French history. The title has been awarded to a younger brother of the French sovereign.


Two lines of Counts of Alençon became extinct before the title of Alençon was attached to the House of Valois that ruled France. Alençon was granted as an appanage to Pierre, son of Louis IX of France (1268) and then to Charles, count of Valois, brother of Philip IV (1293). A third house of Alençon counts descended from Charles, second son of the Count of Valois, who was killed at the Battle of Crécy in 1346.

The county of Alençon was raised to a dukedom in 1414. Jean, 1st Duc d'Alençon, was killed at Agincourt, 1415, after having with his own hand slain the Duke of York. His son, Jean, 2nd Duc d'Alençon (who features in Shakespeare's Henry VI), was dispossessed of his duchy in the Battle of Verneuil, August 17, 1424: the Duke was defeated and taken prisoner by English forces led by John, Duke of Bedford. Jean reconquered his domain in 1449.

In 1524 the dukedom of Alençon reverted to the crown, in consequence of the death of the childless Duke Charles IV, who was married to Marguerite, sister of Francis I; Marguerite appears to have kept the title for life, as her second husband, Henry II of Navarre, used it in 1540. The title was given as a jointure to Catherine de' Medici in 1559, and as an appanage to her youngest son Francis in 1566.

The title was pawned by Henry IV to the duke of Wūrttemberg, and subsequently it passed to Gaston, Duke of Orléans, by grant of Louis XIII; to Elizabeth of Orléans, duchess of Guise; to Charles, duke of Berry, grandson of Louis XIV (1710); and to Monsieur (later Louis XVIII), brother of Louis XVI.

The title of duc d'Alençon was last given to Ferdinand of Orléans, son of the duc de Nemours, and grandson of Louis-Philippe.

Counts of Alençon

House of Bellême

House of Capet

House of Valois

Dukes of Alençon (1414 grant)

To the French royal domain

Dukes of Alençon (1566 grant)

Dukes of Alençon (1646 grant)

Dukes of Alençon (1710 grant)

Dukes of Alençon (1774 grant)

Dukes of Alençon (1844 grant)

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