Distinguished Women of Past and Present


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Anne of Austria

From: France, Spain
Fields: Government and Politics
Key Words/Phrases: Queen of France
Anne of Austria (1601-1666), queen of France. She was born in Madrid, the daughter of Philip III, king of Spain, and Margaret of Austria, both descendants of the Habsburg family. In 1615 she married Louis XIII of France. The marriage was unhappy, and from 1620 until the death of Louis in 1643, the couple lived in virtual separation. The king's chief minister, Cardinal Richelieu, doubted Anne's loyalty to France because of her Spanish origin. He accused her of complicity in several treasonable conspiracies against Louis, but her guilt was never proved. After Louis died, Anne assumed the regency for her five-year-old son, King Louis XIV, but entrusted the government to the prime minister, Jules Mazarin. Together, they upheld the authority of the Crown during the civil wars of the Fronde from 1648 to 1653. In 1661, when Louis XIV assumed power, Anne retired to a convent. Queen Anne is the central figure of Alexandre Dumas's Three Musketeers (1844; translated 1846).

"Anne of Austria" Microsoft(R) Encarta.
Copyright(c) 1995 Microsoft Corporation.


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