Why didn't Vichy France restore the French monarchy?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,461
SoCal
Why didn't Vichy France restore the French monarchy? Was it because Philippe Petain and Pierre Laval wanted to run France by themselves without any interference from any royals? In other words, was it similar to the reason that Adolf Hitler preferred to play Kaiser himself as opposed to having him restore the German monarchy? Or was there some other reason for this?

I know that monarchism wasn't very popular in France in 1940, but at the same time, I suspect that an authoritarian dictatorship likewise wasn't very popular in France until the 1940 Fall of France; if the latter managed to become a reality (albeit only for four years due to the 1944 Allied reconquest of France), why not the former as well?

Any thoughts on this?
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,262
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Because a French Monarchy in the South, without Paris, would have generated again the Medieval division between the two "languages" [France in full Middle Ages was divided, from a linguistic and cultural / social perspective, in two parts, the "langue d'oc" and the "langue d'oil"].
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,461
SoCal
Because a French Monarchy in the South, without Paris, would have generated again the Medieval division between the two "languages" [France in full Middle Ages was divided, from a linguistic and cultural / social perspective, in two parts, the "langue d'oc" and the "langue d'oil"].
Would it have actually made any difference if the Nazis would have (purely hypothetically) allowed Vichy France to reclaim most of northern France, though? AFAIK, the Nazi occupation of northern France was only meant to be temporary--as in, only until a final peace treaty with England (and later the Americans) was actually signed.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,262
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Hitler thought to the "Großgermanisches Reich der Deutschen Nation" [the Greater German Kingdom of the Nation of the People: "Deutsch" is "German" for us, actually it's related to "people", in this context its meaning is "German" as well], I cannot say if he would have allowed the other side of the Frank world to have a Monarchy.

If he expressed the will to allow "Frankreich" [France in German] to have a Sovereign it's not impossible that at Vichy they would have considered the option, but only if Nazis would have accepted to have the French King at Paris.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,461
SoCal
Hitler thought to the "Großgermanisches Reich der Deutschen Nation" [the Greater German Kingdom of the Nation of the People: "Deutsch" is "German" for us, actually it's related to "people", in this context its meaning is "German" as well], I cannot say if he would have allowed the other side of the Frank world to have a Monarchy.

If he expressed the will to allow "Frankreich" [France in German] to have a Sovereign it's not impossible that at Vichy they would have considered the option, but only if Nazis would have accepted to have the French King at Paris.
The Nazis were not anti-monarchist in regards to other countries. They had no problems with monarchies in Italy, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia back when it was still ruled by Prince Paul. They only had problems with monarchies that opposed them.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,832
Would have required Pétain to actually write that constitution parliament had tasked him with. He never did, preferring to rule himself by fiat.
 
Nov 2010
1,284
Bordeaux
Why didn't Vichy France restore the French monarchy? Was it because Philippe Petain and Pierre Laval wanted to run France by themselves without any interference from any royals? In other words, was it similar to the reason that Adolf Hitler preferred to play Kaiser himself as opposed to having him restore the German monarchy? Or was there some other reason for this?

I know that monarchism wasn't very popular in France in 1940, but at the same time, I suspect that an authoritarian dictatorship likewise wasn't very popular in France until the 1940 Fall of France; if the latter managed to become a reality (albeit only for four years due to the 1944 Allied reconquest of France), why not the former as well?

Any thoughts on this?
Because that option was never, ever, part of the plan. Simple as that.

The plan was to use the collapse of the French Republic in June 1940 to wipe out the old system and replace it with an uber-conservative, anti-parliamentary, authoritarian regime, in a country which would then become Germany's favourite occupied region in the new European order offered by Nazi Germany. Pétain definitely hoped as much, as he told US Ambassador Bullitt on 1st July 1940.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Futurist
May 2017
1,194
France
A so stupid project would have immediatly provoked the civil war between the South socialo-communist and the collaborators,like in Greece.
 

notgivenaway

Ad Honorem
Jun 2015
5,780
UK
Surely by that time, France had become sick of monarchy.
The Third Republic was relatively successful and lasted longer than the current Fifth Republic. Though it would take a major catastrophe for the Fifth Republic not to last longer.
For monarchy to have persisted, then Napoleon III should have not bumbled the Prussian war.