Anne of Austria

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Anne of Austria (22 September 1601 – 20 January 1666) was Queen consort of France and Navarre and regent for her son, Louis XIV of France. During her regency (1643–1651) Cardinal Mazarin served as France's chief minister.

Contents

Early life

Born at Benavente Palace in Valladolid, Spain, and baptised Ana María Mauricia, she was the daughter of Habsburg parents, Philip III of Spain and Margaret of Austria. She held the titles of Infanta of Spain and of Portugal and Archduchess of Austria.

Life in France

Marriage

Anne was betrothed at age 11 to Louis XIII. Her father, Philip, gave her a dowry of 500,000 crowns and many beautiful jewels.[1] For fear that Louis XIII would die early, they said that if this was the case, she would return to Spain with her dowry, jewels, and wardrobe.[1] The pecuniary arrangements being thus satisfied, Anne was saluted as the Queen of France, "a dignity which her Highness accepts with marvellous dignity and gravity".[1] On 24 November 1615, they were married by proxy in Burgos while Louis's sister, Elizabeth, and Anne's brother, Philip IV of Spain, were married by proxy in Bordeaux. These marriages followed the tradition of cementing military and political alliances between France and Spain that began with the marriage of Philip II of Spain to Elisabeth of Valois in 1559 as part of the Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis. Anne and Elisabeth were both exchanged on the Isle of Pheasants, between Hendaye and Fuenterrabía.

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