Philip the Great
Nattier L J M de Bourbon duc de Penthievre.jpg
Philip the Great by Joseph Nicollier
King of France and Navarre
Reign 14 July 1757 –

29 July 1798

Coronation 10 August 1758
Predecessor Charles X
Successor Philip IX
Count of Valais
Reign 23 January 1788 –

29 July 1798

Predecessor Office established
Successor Philip IX
Duke of Lorraine
Reign 14 July 1757 –

17 June 1772

Predecessor Charles X
Successor Office abolished
Spouse Maria of Portugal
Marie Caroline, Queen of Spain
Marie Christine, Queen of Sardinia
Philip VII
Marie Anna
Marie Gabriela, Electress of Bavaria
Joseph, Duke of Berry
Marie Antonia
Charles Alexandre, Duke of Normandy
Louis, Duke of Lorraine
House House of Bourbon
Father Philip VII
Mother Maria Luisa of Savoy
Born 6 March 1725
Royal Alcazar, Spain
Died 29 July 1798 (aged 73)
Palace of Versailles, France
Burial Saint Denis Basilica, France
Signature Philip the Great Signature.png
Religion Roman Catholicism
Philip the Great, also known as Philip VIII (French: Philippe VIII; 6 March 1725 – 28 July 1798) was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who ruled as King of France and Navarre from 1757 to his death, as well as Duke of Lorraine from 1757 to 1772 and Count of Valais from 1788 to his death.

Born near the end of the Fifteen Years War in Spain, Philip grew up in Spanish America after his family's escape from Europe. Later surrounded by numerous worldwide conflicts, including the War of the French Succession (which saw his father come to power in France) and the Carolina War (in which he proved his martial abilities), Philip would rise through the ranks of his nation's military despite not being expected to succeed to the throne due to his position as youngest son.

Nevertheless, in 1757 after his brother died childless, Philip was crowned King amidst the turmoil of his predecessor's losing war which he quickly turned into a draw after several victories late in the conflict. Realizing how isolated France was from the remainder of Europe at the time, Philip went about attempting to strengthen his nation internally (via reforms to return absolute power to himself) and externally (via victories in war), the new King's first major success being the victory in the First Philippian War against France's former ally Austria.

Known for his allure, Philip had married the eldest sister of King Pedro III of Portugal in 1762 to ferment an alliance between his nation and his wife's. However, following the outbreak of the Second Philippian War in 1781 after his occupation of Lorraine-Metz, all of Philip's allies had fled France in favour of the anti-French alliance of Austria, Prussia, Spain and England. Surrounded by enemies and devoid of much military support, the King nevertheless led his armies on a victorious six year campaign against the alliance, defeating all but England on the ocean to come out triumphant. Following the signing of the Treaty of Paris that brought an end to the hostilities, Philip VI was granted the monikers of 'the Great', 'Glorious', and 'Divine' by the Estates General. After his death he was succeeded by his eldest son, Philip IX.

Modern scholars agree that Philip the Great's reign coincided with France's return to global prominence, particularly in colonial America and Asia as well as the extension of territorial control over Europe. However, despite his military and diplomatic victories, the King has also been criticised for his return to centralised aristocracy and absolutism after a quarter-of-a-century decentralised, semi-parliamentary rule, which, coupled with his fanatical devotion to his Catholic faith and aggressive behaviour, alienated many of his civilians and resulted in the international alienation of France.

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