Anne of Austria
Queen Mother of Louis XIV of France
1602 – 1666
Anne of Austria, queen of France, daughter of Phillip III king of Spain was born in 1602, and died January 20, 1666. She was married December 25, 1615, to Louis XIII and was the mother of Louis XIV. Hardly any queen of France was so much calumniated, or so undeservedly unhappy.
Cardinal Richelieu, the all-powerful minister of the weak Louis XIII, dreading the influence of the wife, or, as others pretend, having been refused by her as a lover, succeeded in prejudicing the mind of the king until he allowed Anne to be continually persecuted, exiled, and, at times, left to suffer the greatest penury. Richelieu associated her of conspiracy with the Dukes of Lorraine, with England, with her own brother, the king of Spain, with all the enemies of France, and with the conspirators at the court, against his own supremacy.
When Richelieu represented her as wishing to get rid of Louis to marry Gaston, and Anne was compelled to appear before the king’s counsel to answer this grave charge, her dignity here came to her aid and she scorned to make a direct reply. She merely observed, contemptuously, that too little was to be gained by the change, to render such a design on her part probable.
At the death of Louis XIII, the parliament in 1643 appointed her regent during the minority of Louis XIV. The Cardinal Mazarin, who, likewise, was said to have been her lover, ruled in her name, and this occasioned the revolt of some of the princes of the blood and other French grandees – a rising known in French history under the name of the Fronde.
She possessed a peculiar and extremely delicate sense of feeling over the whole body; scarcely any linen or cambric was fine enough for her use. It was another peculiarity of hers, that, though she loved flowers passionately, she could not bear the view of natural or even painted roses.
Reference: Woman: Her Position, Influence, and Achievement Throughout the Civilized World published by the King-Richardson Co. in 1903.