Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Biography - Anna of Austria 1549-80 marries her uncle Philip II of Spain 1527-98 & has 5 children



Anne of Austria, Queen of Spain (1549-80), Wife of Philip II of Spain (1527-98), 1571 by Alonso Sanchez Coello (Spanish Painter, c 1531-1588) Detail

Anna of Austria (1549–1580), was Queen consort of Spain & Portugal. She was the first daughter of Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor & Maria of Spain. She was born in Spain, but lived in Vienna from the age of four.


Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II. of Austria and his wife Maria (1528-1603) of Spain with Anna (1549-1580), Rudolph (1552-1612 and Ernst (1553-1595)

Anna was considered the favorite child of her father. It is said that once a meeting of the State of Hungary was postponed, because Anna was sick. Anna received a Catholic education, even though her father was sympathetic to Lutheranism.


Archduchess Anna, Daughter of Emperor Maximillian II, attr to Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1527-1593)

As the eldest daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor, Anna was a desirable party for marriage at the European courts. Her parents preferred to arrange a Spanish marriage for her because of its links between the Austrian & Spanish Habsburg families.


King Philip II of Spain by Sofonisba Anguissola (Italian artist, 1530s-1625) Paolo Fagolo in 1563 said about Philip II of Spain that he was "slight of stature and round-faced, with pale blue eyes, somewhat prominent lip, and pink skin, but his overall appearance is very attractive." The Ambassador went on to say "He dresses very tastefully, and everything that he does is courteous and gracious."

Marriage apparently was a Habsurg strategy to accumulate territory & sovereignty by tracking down appropriate foreign royals to marry. If no appropriate royal was available, then they kept things in the family by marrying cousins or by uncles marrying one of their nieces. In October 1568, Anna's uncle King Phillip II of Spain's 3rd wife, Isabel, died. Reportedly Anna's mother María was glad to read a letter from her own brother some months later asking for his niece's hand. She would become his 4th wife. In 1569, Anna's engagement to her uncle Philip II was announced. In 1570, they married by proxy. He was 43, & she was 21.


Anne of Austria, Queen of Spain (1549-80), Wife of Philip II of Spain (1527-98)

It is reported, that when Anna learned that she was going to marry her admired uncle, she couldn't be more pleased. She went to Spain with her brothers Wenceslass & Albert, who were to receive a Spanish education. When she crossed the border, she was joined by her brothers Rudolph & Ernest, who had already been living in Spain. Ana & Phillip married in Segovia in November of 1570.


Anne of Austria, Queen of Spain (1549-80), Wife of Philip II of Spain (1527-98), by Bartolome Gonzalez y Serrano (1564-1627)

Just as she was her father's favorite child, she was also Philip's most adored wife. But the marriage between the king & his neice was at first opposed by many, including Pope Pius V. According to diplomats, the determined king was in love with his young bride. It was Philip's 4th marriage, but the king still had no male heir.


Anne of Austria, Queen of Spain (1549-80), Wife of Philip II of Spain (1527-98)

Anna apparently completed her duties flawlessly. Not only was she a good stepmother to Philip's daughters Isabella Clara Eugenia and Catalina Micaela', she also gave birth to 5 children, 4 boys & a girl. Their son Philip III of Spain (1578–1621), succeeded his father. He was their only child to live to adulthood.


Anne of Austria, Queen of Spain (1549-80), Wife of Philip II of Spain (1527-98), by Anthonis Mor (1519–1575)

There are no records of the king having mistresses during the time of this marriage. Queen Anna was cheerful & calm and managed to ease some of the stiff atmosphere at the Spanish court. Anna busied herself mostly with child-bearing, child-rearing, & needlework.


Anne of Austria, Queen of Spain (1549-80), Wife of Philip II of Spain (1527-98), by Sofonisba Anguissola (Italian artist, 1530s-1625)

When the couple traveled to Portugal, after the death of Henry of Portugal, they both became seriously ill. The king became ill first, and Anna prayed for his recovery. At the time, Anna was pregnant. She became more even ill than her much older husband. In pain after a premature childbirth, she died at the age of about 30. Her uncle & husband King Phillip II was devastated.


Anne of Austria, Queen of Spain (1549-80), Wife of Philip II of Spain (1527-98), by Juan Pantoja de la Cruz (Spanish painter, 1553-1608)

This marriage was the 1st of 3 uncle-niece marriages in the pedigree of the great grandson of Philip II, Charles II of Spain. Over time, the problems caused by Habsburg inbreeding got worse and would end the Habsburg line in Spain.  In 1700, the last Spanish Habsburg king died. Most folks have 4 grandparents, 8 great grandparents, 16 great great grandparents. Charles II of Spain had just 9 total.  He died without issue at age 35.


Anne of Austria, Queen of Spain (1549-80), Wife of Philip II of Spain (1527-98), 1571 by Alonso Sanchez Coello (Spanish Painter, c 1531-1588)


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