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Anne of Austria

Anne of Austria, 1601–66, queen of France, daughter of King Philip III of Spain. Married to the French king Louis XIII (1615), she was neglected by her husband and sought the society of the court intriguer, Mme de Chevreuse. Anne's indiscretion, especially her flirtation with the duke of Buckingham, injured her reputation. Her loyalty to Spain and her strong Roman Catholic background made her suspect after France's alliance (1635) with the Protestant nations in the Thirty Years War; she was accused by the French minister of state, Cardinal Richelieu, of treasonable correspondence with Spain but was pardoned (1637). Contrary to the express wish of her husband before his death she was granted (1643) by parlement full powers as regent for her son Louis XIV. She entrusted the government to Cardinal Mazarin, whom she supported during the wars of the Fronde in France. After Mazarin's death (1661), her son excluded her from participation in affairs of state. Anne of Austria is a central figure of Alexandre Dumas's Three Musketeers.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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