Biography of Queen of Francia Ana de Bretaña (1477-1514)

Queen of France and Duchess of Brittany, Nantes born 25 January 1477 and died 9 January 1514 at Blois. He/She was the daughter of the Duke of Brittany Francisco II de Montfort, and the French Lady Margarita de Foix. He/She was educated between the Parisian Court and the stately home of the Montfort family, in the vicinity of île-de-France. In 1481, his father signed a pact with Eduardo IV, the English monarch, to marry her with the Prince of Wales, heir to the English Crown, but finally the future of England, mired in the war of the Roses two, gave to the fret with these plans. Thus, after the death of his father in 1488, and being his only offspring, Ana was converted into the heiress of the breton, annexed ducal title to a territory, Britain, which had caused serious conflicts over previous generations, especially during the call war of succession Breton (1345-1365), episode parallel to the hundred years ' war and the rest of civil strife in France. From 1488, with just 11 years of age, the Duchess Anne confronted the conspiracies of the French nobility to seize his rich heritage.

The maximum interested in mastering the wayward breton Duchy was, naturally, the King himself French, Carlos VIII, who sent their emissaries to the Court of the Montfort to request marriage with the young Duchess. Ana, however, resisted this offer, over and over again because he/she knew perfectly that this would imply the progressive absorption of Britain within the governmental and territorial network of the French monarchy, and if something is worth emphasizing throughout his biography is, precisely, the zeal with which Ana clung to the autonomous Breton traditions.

In this way, the 19 December 1490, Ana of Britain decided to marry one of the old heirs of his father: the Archduke Maximiliano de Austria, recently crowned as King of the Romans, the prelude to the Germanic imperial scepter. The ceremony was performed by procurators and ambassadors of both territories to be done some time later. Carlos VIII reaction upon learning of the news was angry, since this Alliance perpetuated the independence of Britain and, in turn, would be an absolute germ of conflicts between the Empire and France. Thus, Carlos VIII made to enforce the Treaty of Le Verger, signed between his sister, Anna of Beaujeau, and the father of Ana of Brittany, Duke Francisco II, whereby no marriage House Montfort, in his branch of the Dukes of Brittany, could celebrate without the consent of the King of France. Covered in the law, Carlos VIII invaded Brittany with a powerful army to change by force of arms the fate of Ana. The local barons, grouped to defend his young Duchess, tried to resist possible, but promised German reinforcements never arrived. Finally, Ana was forced to break the commitment with Maximiliano de Austria and to marry Carlos VIII, wedding which was held December 6, 1491, thus becoming Queen of France.

While the interest of the French monarch resided in the absorption of the Duchy of Brittany, Duchess, in consideration for the new link, requested her to be named sole administrator and Governor of the territory, as well as that traditional customs in the area are respected. Carlos agreed to do so, fully convinced that, in the long run, the Duchy would pass to the Crown. While this marriage is done manu militari, the truth is that during the seven years that remained together both spouses came to feel a great mutual affection. Proof of this was bulky and pitiful mourning, proverbial in the history of France, Brittany Ana showed in 1498, when Carlos VIII died. That Yes, the pain did not prevent that, according to the matrimonial clauses signed in 1491, Ana would enter into a new marriage with the heir, Luis Orleáns, nephew of Carlos VIII, crowned as Luis XII.

The link, celebrated the 8 January 1499, returned to include a series of agreements with respect to the Government of Britain. New Ana was done with government control of the Duchy. Regarding the regulation of the descent, being a hypothetical son of both the designated to inherit the Crown of France, Luis XII accepted Britain Ana request: that the Duchy remain in the hands of the segundogenito or, in their absence, the eldest daughter of Anne, the Princess Claudia. Where there were no offspring, the Duchy of Brittany would be disputed by the hereditary line of the Montfort lineage. Also, Luis XII agreed to respect Breton customs, without interference in the Government or in the administration of Justice.The last years of Queen Ana de Bretaña were dedicated to the court reform, both in Britain and in Paris. In both courts, Ana was patron and Patron Saint of artists, writers, poets and scribes, and as such appears in the documentation which is preserved today. Not in vain, one of the jewels of the French miniature is the book of hours of Queen Anne, a precious manuscript preserved in the National Library of Paris. In the capital court, on the other hand, introduced a reform of manners, to establish the body of bridesmaids of the Queen and, in general, properly channelling the palatial life. Woman of strong character, did not hesitate to represent the French monarchy to various legations in place of her husband, when he/she was absent.

In 1506, Luis XII and Ana of Britain took a joint decision that, with the passage of time, would be revealed as fatal: promise the Princess Claudia with Francisco of Angoulême, who would be crowned King Francisco I after the death of Luis XII in 1515. A year earlier, the 9 January 1514, died Ana of Britain, without knowing that this step encadenaría forever the Duchy of Brittany to the French Crown. Currently, the figure of Queen Anne is seen with remarkable sympathy by the French historiography, which has made it the paradigm of smart women, cultured and excellent Governor of the Gallic Royal House in the complex transition from the middle ages to the Renaissance.


MICHALOVE, P. history of France. (Barcelona, Crítica: 1987).