Queen of France, Regent. Ana María Mauricia, eldest daughter of Philip III of Spain and Margaret of Austria, was born at Benavente Palace in Valladolid, Spain. In 1611, when Anne was 10 years old, her mother died in childbirth. The following year, she was engaged to Louis XIII. Three years later, in 1615, when both children were 14 years old, they were married by proxy, as were Anne's brother Philip IV of Spain and Louis' sister Élisabeth of France. The marriages strengthened the alliance between France and Spain. Louis' mother, Marie de Medici, continued to act as queen after her regency had officially ended. The king conspired with his advisor Charles d'Albert, duc de Luynes, to perform a coup d'état. His mother's favorite Concino Concini was murdered, Concini's wife beheaded, and the Queen mother forced into retirement. Anne had a series of miscarriages and remained childless until 1638, when Louis XIV, heir to the throne, was born. A second son, Philippe, was born soon afterwards. The births of two sons had not improved relations between the king and queen. Anne left the Louvre with her two young sons to reside at the Palais Cardinal, later known as the Palais-Royal. She remained queen. After her husband's death in 1643, she was named regent, despite the king's previous objections. The Parlement of Paris revoked his will. Anne largely entrusted the running of the government to Cardinal Mazarin. When her son Louis XIV came of age in 1651, her regency ended. However, she maintained substantial influence over her son until Mazarin's death in 1661. The marriage of her son to her niece Maria Theresa of Spain in 1660 strengthened the peace with that country. The following year, the heir to the throne, her first grandchild, Louis de France was born. Soon thereafter, Anne of Austria retired to the convent of Val-de-Grâce, and died five years later. As a central character in Alexandre Dumas's novel "The Three Musketeers," she has been portrayed in numerous films.
Bio by: Anne Philbrick