Henry I was King of the Franks from 1031 to his death. The royal demesne of France reached its smallest size during his reign, and for this reason he is often seen as emblematic of the weakness of the early Capetians. This is not entirely agreed upon, however, as other historians regard him as a strong but realistic king, who was forced to conduct a policy mindful of the limitations of the French monarchy.
A member of the House of Capet, Henry was born in Reims, the son of King Robert II (972–1031) and Constance of Arles (986–1034). He was crowned King of France at the Cathedral in Reims on 14 May 1027, in the Capetian tradition, while his father still lived. He had little influence and power until he became sole ruler on his father's death.
The reign of Henry I, like those of his predecessors, was marked by territorial struggles. Initially, he joined his brother Robert, with the support of their mother, in a revolt against his father (1025). His mother, however, supported Robert as heir to the old king, on whose death Henry was left to deal with his rebel sibling. In 1032, he placated his brother by giving him the duchy of Burgundy which his father had given him in 1016.
King Henry I died on 4 August 1060 in Vitry-en-Brie, France, and was interred in Basilica of St Denis. He was succeeded by his son, Philip I of France, who was 7 at the time of his death; for six years Henry's queen Anne of Kiev ruled as regent. At the time of his death, he was besieging Thimert, which had been occupied by the Normans since 1058.
He was also Duke of Burgundy from 1016 to 1032, when he abdicated the duchy to his brother Robert.