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In the medieval period, the countries were often bitter enemies, with both nations' monarchs claiming control over France.
The Hundred Years' War stretched from 1337 to 1453 resulting in French victory.
Britain and France fought a series of five major wars, culminating in the Coalition victory over Napoleon in 1815.
After that there were some tensions, but peace generally prevailed and as the 19th century progressed, the relationship became better.
Prior to the Norman Conquest of 1066, there were no armed conflicts between the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of France.
France and England were subject to repeated Viking invasions, and their foreign preoccupations were primarily directed toward Scandinavia.
In recent years the two countries have experienced a quite close relationship, especially on defence and foreign policy issues; the two countries tend, however, to disagree on a range of other matters, most notably the European Union.
French author José-Alain Fralon characterised the relationship between the countries by describing the British as "our most dear enemies".
In addition, they were kings of England in their own right; England was not officially a province of France, nor a province of Normandy.Closer ties between the two began with the 1904 Entente cordiale, particularly via the alliances in World War I and World War II, wherein both countries fought against Germany, and in the latter conflict British armies helped to liberate occupied France from the Nazis.Both nations opposed the Soviet Union during the Cold War and were founding members of NATO, the western military alliance led by the United States.The deeds of chieftains in this period would produce the legendaria around King Arthur and Camelot - now believed to be a legend based on the deeds of many early medieval British chieftains - and the more historically verifiable Charlemagne, the Frankish chieftain who founded the Holy Roman Empire throughout much of Western Europe.At the turn of the second millennium, the British Isles were primarily involved with the Scandinavian world, while France's main foreign relationship was with the Holy Roman Empire.