Anne of Austria, Queen of France (1601-1666)

1622-1625 Anne of Austria (1601–1666)  by Peter Paul Rubens

Anne of Austria was a very influential Queen of France. She was the daughter of King Phillip III of Austria and grew up in Spain. Christina married King Louis XIII when she was just 14-years-old.

Her marriage to Louis was an unhappy one because of her inability to produce an heir until later in life, and her split loyalties. France declared war on Spain, of which her brother, King Phillip IV ruled. Her correspondence brought into question her loyalties to France, which was later pardoned.

When Louis died, Anne was named Queen Regent of France until her son was old enough to rule. During this time, she made peace with Spain and was able to reunite with her brother and an alliance was created between the marriage of her son and Phillip’s daughter.

Anne was a very able politician and learned how to maneuver through court intrigue through her husband’s court. Her inclination toward peace improved France’s foreign relations, and her loyalty to her family was a very important aspect of her life.


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Isabella I, Queen of Spain (1451-1504)


Isabella I, Queen of Spain, was one of the most influential powers in Spain’s history. Isabella was dedicated first and foremost to her Catholic faith that is evident in her all of her accomplishments.

Isabella grew up in the corrupt Castilian court under her half-brother, King Henry IV. Isabella was very popular and had many supporters who were willing to overthrow her brother and place her on the thrown when she was still very young. Isabella however, refused to instigate a civil war that would have destroyed the country. However, Isabella agreed to a secret marriage to Ferdinand of Aragon that united Spain for the first time.

Isabella and Ferdinand succeeded Henry’s death and ruled Spain together. Under Isabella and Ferdinand, the controversial Spanish Inquistion was initiated and they successfully completed the Reconquista.

Isabella is most recognized for supporting Christopher Colombus and his exploration of the New World. Her attention to expansion allowed Spain to become a world power.

Isabella’s loyalty to her country and dedication to its development allowed Spain to flourish under her reign. It takes a very forward and open-minded person to be able to accomplish all that.



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