Charles VII effected several entries during his reign: Toulouse, Lyon, Rouen and Caen among others. The most symbolic of all was Paris in 1437. The King entered the capital he had reconquered the year before in armour. He passed through the Saint Denis gate accompanied by the Dauphin Louis and surrounded by more than a thousand men at arms. The keys to the city were presented to him by the provost and traders. Aldermen held a “heaven” (canopy) over him. The King then pledged to respect the freedom of the city and swore not to exceed his powers as a sovereign.

All royal entries involve oath-taking and great sums of money are spent. The sovereign is showered with lavish gifts and entertainment is laid on. For his part, the king hands out favours and privileges. It is a time of great public rejoicing. During his stay in Paris, Charles VII resided at the Hôtel Saint-Pol, the very place he was born. Although this entry was only brief, it was a symbolic act that renewed the ties of affection between a king and the subjects of his capital.


Martial d’Auvergne, “Charles VII’s entry into Paris”, Vigils of Charles VII, 1484-1485, French 5054, folio 93v. © BnF.