Anne of Austria

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Portrait of Anne of Austria in her widowhood.

Anne of Austria (1601-1666), queen of France, was born in Valladolid, Spain, the daughter of Hapsburg parents, Philip III, king of Spain, and Margaret of Austria. She was married to fourteen-year-old Louis XIII of France in 1615, but the couple did not share a happy marriage and much of it was spent in virtual separation. After they had been childless for twenty-two years their first son, Louis XIV, was born. Their second son, Phillipe, later to become duc d'Orléans, arrived in 1640. Louis XIII did not trust Anne to become after his death sole regent to Louis XIV and attempted to deprive her of that right. When the king died in May 1643, Louis XIV succeeded his father to the throne. Anne became regent to the young king from 1643 to 1651, ruling France in his place with the help of Cardinal Mazarin as prime minister. Anne and Mazarin together faced a series of revolts known as the Fronde (1648-53) and Mazarin was forced to leave Paris. The rebellions ended in October 1652 and Mazarin was allowed to return to the capital. Anne's regency ended in 1661 after Mazarin died and Louis ascended the throne.