Portrait de Charles VII, roi de France 1422-1461. France, anonyme, XXe, d’après Jean Fouquet, vers 1450. Cité royale de Loches / Conseil départemental d’Indre-et-Loire.
He reigned for nearly 40 years. He became Dauphin in 1417, after the death of his older brother. His father, Charles VI, known as "the Mad", was incapable of ruling. Civil war raged between the Armagnacs and Bourguignons, fighting to win power.
The treaty of Troyes, signed in 1420, compromised the royal future of the Dauphin by giving the crown of France to the English. Upon the death of Charles VI, the king of England, Henry VI, was proclaimed "the heir of France". The Dauphin Charles, who had sought refuge in Bourges, nevertheless took the role of king of France. He owned only the lands to the south of the Loire.
Thanks to the intervention of Joan of Arc, Charles VII turned the situation around and was crowned in Rheims on 17th July 1429. He then conquered again the lands to the north of the Loire and put an end to the Hundred Years' War in 1453, after the victory of Castillon. He also re-established the kingdom's economy thanks to the silversmith, Jacques Coeur.
Charles VII often stayed in the royal residence in Loches and had the tower gate and the new tower of the keep built. He was married to Marie of Anjou and father to Louis XI.