Les Rois Maudites

Other Characters

Philippe Torreton as Robert D’Artois

There is a popular french book, by Maurice de Duron, and two television series based on it, called “Les Rois Maudites”, which translates into English, rather awkardly, as “The Accursed Kings”.  One of the main characters in the book and in the television presentations is Isabella, 

Isabella had been upset when her father had arrested Jaques de Molay but now five years later in March 1314, the execution of Molay on an island on the Seine close to Paris was made a public spectacle.

Stands were built on the island and the execution was attended by the whole French royal family with the exception of Isabella.


During his execution, in which he was deliberately slow roasted, Molay declared that God was on his side and both the the Pope and the King of France would be dead within the year. He extended the threat by saying that the wrath of God would fall on Phillipe’s children. 


The first part of his curse was fulfilled. Both the Pope and Phillipe died within the year.

 Before he died Phillipe experienced what for him was the ultimate humiliation. He had three sons, Isabelle’s brothers—Louis, Phillipe and Charles. It was almost the ideal situation Louis, the eldest was expected to create male heirs but just in case there were two brothers in reserve.

They were married to the daughters of the Duke of Burgundy (Holy Roman Empire side of the border) and the Compte of Burgundy( French side of the border). (See Genealogy)

These marriages were without any intention to strengthen the boodline. As long as the Capets had male heirs, their “right to rule” was considered outstanding. These marriages were about territorial expansion. France coveted the rich lands of Burgundy.

Isabella had other ideas.

isabellas-visit On a visit to France in 1313 Isabella gave three embroidered handbags to all three of her brothers wives. A short time later she saw them in the possession of two Bretons.

She concluded that there must be extra marital relationship between her sisters-in-law and the Bretons. She gave testimony to support her discovery, her father took it seriously, and had the three girls watched.

condemned Isabelle’s suspicions were confirmed. Her brothers wives met regularly with the Bretons in La Tour Nestle the wives were arrested were arrested, their lovers executed. This testimony destabilised and ultimately destroyed the house of Capet.  the final male survivor of the house of Capet died in 1328. Apart from Isabella’s own children , there were no other male survivors, which is just possibly what she intended.

She had given birth to a son who had a unique combination of messianic descents and cleared the way for him to take the throne of France. In the same way that hugh Capet had come to the throne her son should she believed be chosen above all others for his superior nobility.  Unfortunately for Isabella’s plan was thwarted because  she dis not hide Edwards illegitimate birth in promoting her sons claim to the Frankish throne. After all she believed that Edward was ‘more noble’. to her surprise Edward was rejected because of his illegitimate birth.

it was only after this rejection was finally confirmed in 1329 that Edward kidnapped Roger Mortimer and hanged him. Perhaps he blamed Roger for the failure of the grand plan?


The most dangerous woman in the world

The Treasure of Trencavel

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List of Places

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Pseudo History