The kingdom had been founded by the Normans , who had liberated Sicily from the Arabs in the 11th century, and then united the various Lombard duchies and Byzantine captaincies by the early 12th. By the early 13th century, under Frederick II von Hohenstaufen , it was the most flourishing and progressive kingdom in Europe. But Frederick had run afoul of the popes, and shortly after his death the popes gave it to the Angevins, who confirmed their owndership on the battlefiled in 1266 and 1268. The history of Angevin Naples was one of steady decline. Sicily broke off in 1282, as the result of an insurrection ("the Sicilian Vespers") jointly sponsored by the Byzantine Emperor and the King of Aragon, who took over the property.

Robert of Anjou (231), King of Arles, is the grandson of the first Angevin King of Naples. His heir is Giovanna, his granddaughter. [[Giovanna is not the heir for Arles, however, even though she is the closest relative. Giovanna could inherit Provence and Naples, both of which are technically fiefs of the Pope. Robert needed a male heir for Anjou and he didn't have one when he died). The situation of the 60 year old Robert of Anjou (King of Arles and Naples) is a complex one. King Robert is the great-grandson of Louis VIII of France (in the direct male line,) through the latter's youngest son, Charles, who became King of Naples by papal dispensation in 1265, and on the battlefield in 1266 and 1268. So, his Salic lands would escheat (return) to his closest male relative in the senior line when his branch of the family dies out. This would be the;

1.King of France (although there were a few other, lower ranking, contenders) if the latter is a Capetian. However, the Capetian dynasty (the direct male line) ended in 1328 with the death of Charles the IV. That brought our own Philip VI to the throne, a great-great-grandson of Louis VIII (through the female line.) However, Arles had been declining as a separate kingdom for some time and was, in this period, a de facto part of France. As France formed from the wreckage of Charlemanges ninth century empire, Arles was one of many kingdoms barbarians had carved out of the Roman empire since the fifth century. Indeed, about all Arles had to distinguish itself with was that the city of Arles was once the capital of the Roman province covering most of the same territory as the present kingdom of Arles. However, after Robert d'Anjou died without a male heir, the pretense of Arles being a separate kingdom was dropped and the Arles lands became French. Naples was never firmly held by the French and for several generations after the Hundred Years War French armies periodically campaigned in Italy to get it back. They never really succeeded.

2. Humbert de la Tour du Pin (100), through a very complex relationship which makes him "residual heir" if Robert's other heirs die out.

3. Alfonso XI of Castile (8), through his great-grandfather Alfonso X's mother, a cousin to Frederick II of Hohenstaufen .

4. Pedro IV Berenguer (197), King of Aragon, through his great- grandfather Pedro III, who wed the grand-daughter of Frederick II of Hohenstaufen.