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Louis VIII of France 1187 - 1226

Louis VIII of France, also known as Louis the Lion, was King of France from 1223 to 1226 . He invaded England as a prince and later, as king, seized Poitou and launched a successful crusade against the Albigensian heretics , capturing the major fortress of Avignon . During his short reign, he also strengthened the royal administration and centralized power in the hands of the monarchy. Though his reign was relatively short, he accomplished major military victories and political reforms that set the stage for subsequent monarchs of France.