Mission of the INFO.FAN
15 мин
Anna Yaroslavna - Queen of France Degree work of Ilya Tomilov.
Anna Yaroslavna – Queen of France Degree work of Ilya Tomilov.
Anna Yaroslavna – the youngest of the daughters of Yaroslav the Wise and the Swedish princess Ingigerda. She was married to the French King Henry I and became Queen of France. Also known in Western European historiography as Anna of Russia (fr. Anne de Russie) and Agnes of Russia (fr. Agnès de Russie), and also in a later version as Anna of Kyiv (fr. Anne de Kiev).

In Russian sources, including chronicles, no information about Anna (as well as about other daughters of Yaroslav) has been preserved. Accordingly, almost nothing is known about her childhood and youth. The approximate time of Anna’s birth (between 1024 and 1036) is established in a logical way, since at that time it was customary to marry girls at the age of 15-25 years. Presumably, Yaroslav’s daughters received a good education, and Anna, in addition to being able to read and write, could know Greek, Latin and Swedish (the language of her mother Ingigerda)[1]wikipedia.

Matchmaking of the King of France

According to the 17th-century historian Francois de Mezere, Henry I of France, almost ten years after the premature death of his first bride, Matilda of Franconia, found out about the beauty of the Kievan princess:

“the fame of the charms of the princess, namely Anna, daughter of George, King of Russia, now Muscovy, reached him, and he was fascinated by the story of her perfections.”

In addition to beauty, behind Anna were the forces of one of the largest powers in Europe – Yaroslav the Wise had long established himself on the throne of Kiev and actively influenced international politics. And France, in turn, in the second half of the 1040s again began to conflict with Germany for Lorraine and was in dire need of allies.

Henry I - King of France
Henry I – King of France

There is an assumption that the marriage was facilitated by the Hungarian king Andras I, who was in hostile relations with Germany and was interested in an alliance with France. In addition, Andrash himself was married to another daughter of Yaroslav – Anastasia.

Meeting of Anna Yaroslavna with the King of France (artist Yu. Bykova)
Meeting of Anna Yaroslavna with the King of France
(artist Yu. Bykova)

The chronicle of the Abbey of Saint-Pierre-le-Vif in Sens reports that the king sent an embassy with rich gifts to the “land of the Russians”, located somewhere “near the Greek borders”, in order to bring the Kievan princess to France. Having received the consent of Yaroslav the Wise, the ambassadors took Anna to France through Krakow, Prague and Regensburg.

Wedding of Anne and King Henry I of France

Departure of Princess Anna Yaroslavna to France for the wedding with King Henry I
Departure of Princess Anna Yaroslavna to France for the wedding with King Henry I

On May 19, 1051, in the ancient city of Reims, where French kings have been crowned since ancient times, Anna’s wedding and subsequent coronation took place.

This marriage, of course, could not bring any territorial acquisitions. This was partly compensated by a rich dowry, which was supposed to amount to a significant amount in money and jewelry. Subsequently, Louis VI donated to the abbey of Saint-Denis “the most precious hyacinth of the grandmother, the daughter of the king of the rutens” (preciosissimum jacinctum atavae, regis Ruthenorum filiae).

Queen of France

Anne, Queen of France
Anne, Queen of France

In 1052, Anna gave birth to the king’s heir, the future King of France, Philip I. Then three more children (including two sons, Robert and Hugo, of whom the first died in childhood, and the second later became the Count of Vermandois).

Prince Phillip received the Greek name Philip, completely uncharacteristic of either the dynasty or the entire region, which from that moment became one of the few most common names among the Capetian dynasty of French kings.

Because Philip was a late child (he was born when his father was 44 years old), Henry organized the coronation of the seven-year-old prince as early as 1059. The ceremony was performed on May 23 at Reims by Archbishop Gervasius in the presence of two papal legates and all major vassals of the crown (except William of Normandy). Thus, Henry, in accordance with the tradition of the Capetians, expected to ensure an automatic, without election, transfer of power to his son after his death.

At first, the young queen took an active part in governing the country, but after 1054 she retired: her name is hardly mentioned in the documents of those years.

Philip I king of France
Philip I
king of France

Later, when Heinrich himself retired from management, his wife began to be active again. A letter from Pope Nicholas II, written to Anna, has been preserved. In it, the author admires the strength and masculinity of the queen, glorifies her moral qualities:

The rumor of your virtues, delightful maiden, has reached our ears, and we hear with great joy that you are fulfilling your royal duties in this very Christian state with commendable zeal and remarkable intelligence.

Anna Yaroslavna cycle "Kyiv princesses on the thrones of Europe", Main Post Office of Kyiv, 2016
Anna Yaroslavna cycle “Kyiv princesses on the thrones of Europe”,
Main Post Office of Kyiv, 2016

Anna’s second marriage

After the death of Henry, Anna shared custody of her young son Philip I with the regent Baudouin of Flanders. She participated in the royal court’s tour of the domain possessions in late 1060 – early 1061. Soon her name again disappears from mention in the state acts of France. Apparently, already in 1061 she married Count Raoul de Crepy, one of the most powerful feudal lords of Northern France. This seigneur had been constantly at court for several years, where he occupied a prominent place – immediately after the peers of France and the highest clergy.

When Anna began an affair with Raul, the count was already married. In order to get a divorce, he accused his wife Hakenese of adultery and on this basis annulled the marriage, and in 1061 “kidnapped” Anna while hunting in the Senlis forest and married her.

The abandoned wife of Raoul complained to Pope Alexander II, who ordered the archbishops of Reims and Rouen to investigate. As a result, the new marriage was declared invalid. In addition, Raul and Anna were ordered to live separately from each other, but they ignored this requirement. As punishment, Raul was excommunicated from the church. As far as one can judge, this did not make a strong impression on him, since excommunication, not supported by military measures, did not pose a danger to the feudal lord.

However, Anna and Raul could no longer appear at court. The famous diploma, supposedly issued in 1063 to the abbey of Saint-Crépin in Soissons, bearing Anne’s autograph “AHA RINA”, was drawn up during the King’s tour of his domains, and is an exception.

In 1896, a copy was taken from him, which was handed to the Emperor of Russia Nicholas II during his official visit to Paris. Only nine years later, in 1070, Raul returned to the king’s entourage.

Letter of the French king Philip I in favor of the Abbey of St. Crepin in Soissons, containing the autographic signature of Anna Yaroslavna, Queen of France, 1063
Letter of the French king Philip I in favor of the Abbey of St. Crepin in Soissons, containing the autographic signature of Anna Yaroslavna, Queen of France, 1063

Abbey of Saint Vincennes

In the 1060s, Anna founded the monastery of Saint Vincent at Senlis. According to historians, this was done to atone for the sin of illegal marriage. In 1069, Philip I granted privileges to this monastery. In the 17th century, in front of the chapel of Saint-Vincent, a sculpture of Anna was installed with a small model of the temple she founded in her hand. The inscription on the plinth read: “Anne of Russia, Queen of France” (French “Anne de Russie Reine de France”).

On September 29, 1996, at the request of the Ukrainian community in France, the original inscription under the statue was replaced with “Anne of Kyiv, Queen of France” (French: “Anne de Kiev Reine de France”).

Her autograph has been preserved in Cyrillic under one of the acts:

Statue of Queen Anna of Kyiv (Russian)
Statue of Queen Anna of Kyiv (Russian)

ANA RINA (that is, Latin Anna Regina, “Queen Anna”).

Last years

Raoul de Crepy died on September 8, 1074, and a war of succession began between his relatives. Anna returned to the court. She signed the last document in 1075, in this act she is simply called “the king’s mother”, without a royal title. She is believed to have died between 1075 and 1089.

Anna’s grave

Anna’s burial place is unknown, no traces of it were found either in the tomb of Saint-Denis, where Henry I was buried, or in Saint-Benoit-sur-Loire, where her son Philip lies. There is some reason to believe that she was buried in Saint-Vincent, but the burial disappeared during subsequent rebuilding of the monastery.

Monument in Senlis "Anna of Kyiv, Queen of France" 2005
Monument in Senlis “Anna of Kyiv, Queen of France” 2005

Section “Yaroslav the Wise”

Список литературы

  1. wikipedia
Rate this article - help the project
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

Опубликовано: 11.08.2022
Изменено: 11.08.2022