Anne of Kiev

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Anne of Kiev (or Anna Yaroslavna) (between 1024 and 1032 – 1075), daughter of Yaroslav I of Kiev and his wife Princess Ingegerd of Sweden, was the queen consort of France as the wife of Henry I, and regent for her son Philip I.

Contents

Marriage

After the death of his first wife, Matilda, King Henry searched the courts of Europe for a suitable bride, but could not locate a princess who was not related to him within illegal degrees of kinship. At last he sent an embassy to distant Kiev, which returned with Anne (also called Agnes or Anna). Anne and Henry were married at the cathedral of Reims on 19 May 1051. As a curious fact, several daughters of Yaroslav married Catholic monarchs; Anne's older sister Anastasia of Kiev, was married around 1039 to the king Andrew I of Hungary.

Children

With Henry I of France:

  • Philip (23 May 1052 – 30 July 1108) - Anne is credited with bringing the name Philip to Western Europe. She imported this Greek name (Philippos, from philos (love) and hippos (horse), meaning "the one that love horses") from her Eastern Orthodox culture.
  • Hugh (1057 – 18 October 1102) - called the Great or Magnus, later Count of Crépi, who married the heiress of Vermandois and died on crusade in Tarsus, Cilicia.
  • Robert (c. 1055 – c. 1060)

Regency

For six years after Henry's death in 1060, she served as regent for Philip, who was only eight at the time. She was the first queen of France to serve as regent. Her co-regent was Count Baldwin V of Flanders. Anne was a literate woman, rare for the time, but there was some opposition to her as regent on the grounds that her mastery of French was less than fluent.

A year after the king's death, Anne, acting as regent, took a passionate fancy for Count Ralph III of Valois, a man whose political ambition encouraged him to repudiate his wife to marry Anne in 1062. Accused of adultery, Ralph's wife appealed to Pope Alexander II, who excommunicated the couple. The young king Philip forgave his mother, which was just as well, since he was to find himself in a very similar predicament in the 1090s. Ralph died in September 1074, at which time Anne returned to the French court. She died in 1075, was buried at Villiers Abbey, La-Ferte-Alais, Essonne and her obits were celebrated on 5 September.

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