Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
It could easily not have happened. When her father died shortly after the disastrous the battle of St. Aubin de Cormier in July 1488, Anne was not yet 12. She became ruler of a duchy riven by internal jealousies that soon fell into civil war. With the loyal support of her chancellor, Baron Philippe de Montauban, she held off defeat until 1491. But too many enemies stood against her and she bowed to the inevitable. Since her duchy was a great prize she demanded a high price for her surrender.
Anne and the King of France
Anne insisted on marriage to the king of France. Although she and her duchy were bankrupt she was always proud. Therefore, she travelled to Tours in her own coach, a modern invention at the time. For her wedding, she wore a gown of black satin and cloth of gold that cost over 60,000 francs – an astronomical amount. France paid for this splendour, although Anne had to renounce her title of Duchess of Brittany. She first became Queen of France in December 1491 at the chateau of Langeais on the Loire River when she married King Charles VIII. Neither of them desired the match but apparently they found happiness together. When the king died a short seven years later, Queen Anne cried for days.
Queen Anne and King Louis
Once a widow, Queen Anne returned to Brittany as its duchess. The next king of France, King Louise, divorced his wife, Jeanne. King Louise came to the Chateau de Nantes where he and Duchess Anne married in January 1499. Once again queen, she returned to France where she and Louis reigned until she died in 1514.
Anne of Brittany spent most of her life in the beautiful chateaux of the Loire, mostly Amboise, Blois and Pless-lez-Tours, occasionally visiting Paris or the eastern parts of France. When possible, she visited her own duchy. The link below tells more of the story and identifies the 16 chateaux she visited most often.