By the 1560s the Protestant Reform had spread to France. This threatened the French monarchy and many Huguenots (French Protestants) were being killed due to the Queen's order; this is known as the Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre. With the war, around 70,000 Catholics and Huguenots died.
How dare you deny the monarchy!?
I'll not have my religion silenced!
Henry Navarre escaped death by denying his Protestant religion, and had to fight Catholic troops in order to earn his throne and become Henry IV. He had to convert to Catholicism, however he broke the traditional "one king, one law, one religion" style of ruling with the Edict of Nantes- this allowed Huguenots the freedom to worship and hold public office.
The Edict of Nantes
Henry IV was widely known as one of the most respected monarchs in France; he was quite successful in his reign, having been able to get rid of debt, build a surplus, create industries and trades, drained swamps, built and paved roads as well as encouraged agriculture until his death 10 years later- he was stabbed to death at a traffic stop.
King Louis XIII was the king after Henry's death; his mother also ruled as queen alongside him for a while since he had the throne at very young. Being seen as a weak ruler, the Catholic Church decided to send Cardinal Richelieu, a trusted advisor to assist. Richelieu wanted to strengthen the monarchy by beating any enemies, and additionally would execute nobles publicly.
Cardinal Richelieu passed away in 1642, with King Louis XIII dying soon after in 1643. This left the throne for Louis's son, Louis XIV.
I do pray my rule shall be one of prosperity.
King Louis XIII was history's best example of an absolute monarch; he ruled without anyone else's say and passed his power down to his son once he'd passed- he also ruled France during a period of prosperity and glory.