Anne of Brittany’s Funeral

Twice Queen of France, Anne of Brittany’s funeral was a protracted event. Embalmers made a wax effigy of her face after her death. She lay first in her room and later in the state chambers of the Chateau of Blois for over two weeks Meals and masses were held daily.

After placing her body in a lead coffin, a procession transported her wax effigy, fully dressed in its finery, from the Loire valley to Paris. Anne’s funeral journey lasted more than a week. The coffin stopped at abbeys and churches every night and the population attended formal services. In Paris, her body rested in Notre Dame Cathedral overnight. The next day a long and elaborate procession brought her coffin to the Basilica of St. Denis for interment.

A Heartbroken King

The queen’s death on 9 January 1514 devastated her husband, King Louis XII. Before he retired to his chambers to grieve he announced that his court would mourn in black, a shocking break from tradition. In France, royal mourning was white. However, Anne hailed from Brittany where they conducted mourning in black. King Louis required black mourning to honour the woman he loved and respected.

The funeral of Anne of Brittany, A 15th Century Heroine

Anne, Duchess of Brittany had been crowned twice as the Queen of France. She married King Charles VIII and when he died, she married King Louis XII. She suffered through a long and complicated pregnancy…

Crowds gathered at the Basilica of Saint Denis Anne’s funeral. After every member of her Household threw his or her symbol of office into the crypt, Brittany Herald, Pierre Choque, called, “La Reine est morte… La Reine est morte… Ma Reine est morte.” His voice broke as he uttered the words for the last time.

Anne of Brittany’s journey did not end here at her funeral. Her embalmed heart, encased in a golden reliquary went to the chapel in Nantes where her parents’ bodies lay. It remained there until Pierre Colombe completed her magnificent tomb in the Nantes cathedral.

Source: The Funeral of Anne of Brittany

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