Did the kings of France speak English?
Who was the last English king whose mother tongue was French?
Although Henry V made English the official language of government, there is some debate over whether he or his father Henry IV was the first king to use English as a mother tongue. All in all, it was likely Henry IV (for the reasons below), so was his predecessor Richard II was the last king whose mother tongue was French.
By doing article about the history of the English language (from thehistoryofenglish.com) it says: "Henry IV, who came to the English throne in 1399, was the first monarch since before the conquest to have English as his mother tongue." The book The French in London says "Henry IV (1399-1413), the first King of England since the Conquest, whose first language was English" (quoted by Jacquie Heys).
Henry IV would most likely have been influenced by his father, John of Gaunt, who was a patron of the English language. When Henry IV was born, French was already being replaced by English as the first language of the nobility. Douglas Kibbee says that "French as a mother tongue was definitely declining by the beginning of the 13th century, even among nobles of Norman descent" (quoted by Jacquie Heys).
In view of the question ( last English king, whose mother tongue was French) we should also check whether kings after Henry IV had French as their mother tongue. If we accept that Henry IV used English as his mother tongue, it is very likely that Henry V did too (given the general trend towards English).
Henry VI can be seen as a possibility because his father died when he was six months old (and therefore had no influence) and his mother was French (Catherine of Valois), but she did not have a large part in his upbringing as hers was not trusted by English nobles. Henry VI's father, Henry V, also made English the official language of government, and English continued to be promoted during the reign of Henry VI (according to Douglas Kibbee). Then we should also consider that France was the enemy in the Hundred Years War. The French in London say: "Under Henry V the endless quarrel with France resulted in a popular rejection of all things French." None of this is conclusive evidence, but it's pretty strong. Under these circumstances, it is also highly unlikely that the later Kings Edward IV, Edward V and Richard III were brought up with French as their mother tongue.
English was likely spoken by kings, as at least Edward I learned it from his teachers (and his father Henry III spoke it well too). At the time of Edward III. It seems to have been widespread among the nobles, some of whom actually had to learn French from tutors.
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