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Anne of Kiev

Born 1036, Anne was one of the four daughters of Yaroslav I, "the wise", Grand Duke of Kiev and Ingegerd of Sweden. Her father, Yaroslav, was absolute monarch of the Grand Duchy, and it was he that made Kiev a major power, warred agaisnt the Poles, organized the church, and hosted mass baptisms of his subjects. According to 'The Age of Chivalry' by National Geographic Book Service:

"[Yaroslav] took a Swedish princess to wife and his offspring became prized consorts for European royalty. So much so that the Kievans grumbled at the shortage of brides, "Every European King marries a princess of Kiev!"

Anne's own husband, Henri I, King of France, was something of a nonentity. After the premature death of his first wife, Matilda of Germany, and their infant daughter, he married Anne on the 29th of January 1051 partially to avoid the confines of consanguinity and partially in an attempt to bring about a Franco-Russian alliance. Evidence of the differences between them is obvious on their marriage certificate: Anne signed her own name with her own hand, while her illiterate husband could only mark an "X". He suffered from early senality and died after disobeying his doctor's advice not to mix water with a medicine he was taking.

Anne and Henri had two sons; the eldest, Philip, was born in 1052 and became known as Philip I, "the fair", King of France. Their second son, Hugh Magnus, became Duke of Burgundy and Leader of the Crusade; he died in Cilicia, after fathering a daughter named Isabella.

After Henri's death, Anne, still young and pretty, was kidnapped by Raoul II de Crépi and lived with him before they married in 1061. The marriage only lasted six years, being dissolved in 1067.

Anne was not the only daughter to make an advantageous marriage; her sister Ellisif married first the King of Norway and then the King of Denmark; another sibling, Anastasia, wed the King of Hungary; and a fourth sister, Dobronega, married the King of Poland.

Anne Agnesa of Kiev, Queen of France, died about 1080.

This page was written by and is copyright Jessica Key, and may not be reproduced without permission.