King of France, January 1, 996-1031; Count of Paris. Robert's earliest biographer believed him to be aged 60 at his death, suggesting that he was born before the same date in 971 or, if he was still in his sixtieth year, in 972. This may have been a guess shared by the King himself and his entourage. Robert was crowned as associate king with his father in Sainte-Croix Cathedral at OrlŽans on or shortly after Christmas Day, 987. The decision of Hugh Capet to crown a second king was controversiall. It was apparently taken in order to ensure the leadership of the Franks under a threat of invasion from Muslim Spain. Robert's reign is usually dated from the death of his father in October, 996.