Wales were crowned Guinness Six Nations champions after France lost 27-23 to Scotland.
Les Bleus required a bonus-point victory and a winning margin of at least 21 points from Friday evening's rearranged clash with the Scots to snatch the title but they fell short.
The result in Paris was welcome news for the Welsh, who claimed Championship glory for the second time in three years.
Wayne Pivac's men had been forced to wait an additional six days to discover their fate after the heartbreak of Saturday's last-gasp 32-30 defeat at Stade de France denied them a Grand Slam and gave the French renewed title hope.
Success marked a remarkable turnaround for head coach Pivac, who faced questions about his future having finished fifth in last year's Six Nations after succeeding fellow New Zealander Warren Gatland following the 2019 World Cup.
Wales won just three of 10 Tests in 2020 and were unfancied ahead of the tournament.
But, after edging past the 14 men of both Ireland and Scotland, a 40-24 success over deposed champions England and a routine win against Italy were ultimately enough to hold off the challenge of Fabien Galthie's talented French side.