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Dauphin was the title given in France to the heir to the throne. Other monarchies commonly used a version of the Crown Prince or Crown Princess.

Initially, it referred to the area of Dauphiny, which was controlled by the Counts of Vienne during the 12th century. In 1349, the land was passed to King Philippe de Valois with the proviso that the French heir would be titled Dauphin of Viennois.