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The French Cycling Bicycle Gourmet - French Country Travel Life Film Maker and Author. Your non-snobby Gourmet Guide to food, wine travel and Lifestyle Adventure!

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French Country Travel Life Double Queen – Part Three

Time to get out your hankies as the French Country Travel Life Double Queen – Part Three takes center stage. (earlier, but not fantastically happy events may be found in PART  ONE and PART TWO.)

As my faithful will recall from previous spine tingling, on-the-edge-of-your-seat installments, Anne now seemed to be between the proverbial “rock and a hard place.”

Obliged to marry a King who was already married. However, like most Women of intelligence, Anne had a plan. It, like her previous decision to marry Charles, was a classic “no brainer.”

She agreed to marry Louis  12, if he could get his current marriage (to her former husbands sister no less!) annulled. Now, Today annulements are as common as experts on the internet. But in Anne’s time,( heavy Catholic vibes ) it was anything but a “slam dunk.”

Basically you needed to have a Pope in yer pocket. So – obviously Anne was banking on “no annulement = free, white and (already)21.”

But, when you’re a King, you don’t hang out the locals at the pub. And, sadly for Anne, Louis 12 DID have a Pope in his pocket.  Alexander 6, who dissolved Louis’ marriage.

So, never one to cry in her beer, Anne accepted her fate.(another good decision)  And, not letting Royal grass grow under her feet, Anne put on her travellin’ shoes….and headed back to her home turf(Brittany) to chill out and press the local flesh.

Marriage number three for the French Country Travel Life Double Queen went down on January 8, 1499, with her new husband (wisely) confirming her right to to the title “Duchess of Brittany.” And, the resulting power to issue decisions in her name.

This was a biggie for Anne, as her “raison d’etre” was always to keep Brittany independant. To make sure it stayed “in the family, in true “arranged marriages be us” fashion, Anne hooked her daughter Claude up with Charles of Austria. To beef up the French connection in the Franco-Italian war.

But when hubby Louis got the vibe that no male heir would be forthcoming from his lovely queen, he broke off the marriage and arranged his own royal love fest.  Hitching  Claude up with the heir to the French Throne, Francis of Angouleme. This, as you would expect, did not get Anne’s seal of approval.

But, sadly, time, and luck were both running out for Anne. In spite of her relatively young age, she had been pregnant a total of 14 times by two Kings.(even I can do the math here) Only three Children survived. Only Two made it to adulthood.

Renee, who by marriage became the Duchess of Chartes, after marrying the Duke of Ferrara. And Claude, who inherited her Mother’s title of Duchess of Brittany, and became Queen of France by her marriage to Francis.

Which meant, you guessed it, Brittany became a French possession.

Anne died at the Château de Blois on 9 January 1514 of a kidney-stone attack.

Her funeral, which was to set the standard for all Royal funerals to follow, lasted 40 days.

By her request, her heart was placed in a gold reliquary(a $10 word for “relic container”)



For my french scholars, here is the inscription:

En ce petit vaisseau
De fin or pur et munde
Repose ung plus grand cueur
Que oncque dame eut au munde
Anne fut le nom delle
En France deux fois royne
Duchesse des Bretons
Royale et Souveraine.

For everyone else:

 “In this little vessel of fine gold, pure and clean, rests a heart greater than any lady in the world ever had. Anne was her name, twice queen in France, Duchess of the Bretons, royal and sovereign.”


What are ya thinkin?’

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22 Responses to “French Country Travel Life Double Queen – Part Three”

  1. megan ambrose says:

    such a sad ending…..especially after all those miscarriages/

  2. karen dennis says:

    absolutely megan…..it really underscores the fact that women in those days were expected to be “baby machines.”

  3. valerie ranmis says:

    know what you mean…look at catherine de medici ….10 kids!

  4. reena singh says:

    valerie..hey that’s nothing…look at Celine Dion’s Mother….14 kids!

  5. ken morton says:

    reena…..re/ celine dion’s Mother…..obviously not taking any advice from the pope!

  6. larry croman says:

    val and ken….and also…Celine Dion wasn’t a queen!

  7. daniel murph says:

    there are millions of pop music fans who would STRONGLY disagree with you larry.

  8. zac johnson says:

    its all good..naturally…but the linbe i really love is that one about “a pope in his pocket!”

  9. lani marshall says:

    really a “crying in your beer” story. like a lot of life.

  10. paul castman says:

    what always amazes me about french history is all the intrigue and manouvering…the arranged marriages, of course being a big part of it.

  11. hal davis says:

    with ya there paul…100%! at least in this one…..no murders.

  12. neil over says:

    hal and paul….correction….no murders THAT WE KNOW OF!

  13. fran kimmelman says:

    such a sad story……..especially after fighting all her life to keep brittany independant…..a sad ending for all her efforts.

  14. jack robbins says:

    you DO have a geat fell for words and humor….conveying the complicated in a phrase is a true talent. more power to ya!

  15. malcom ironsides says:

    exceptional..is the only word to describe this post!

  16. dan roberton says:

    as excellent as the series as on it’s own..the videos you’ve included have really amplified your evocative prose.

  17. norm flockhart says:

    am i the only one thinking that the heart in (of) gold is a little weird?

  18. gail reimer says:

    all depends on your definition of weird,doesn’t it, norm?

  19. cathi whyte says:

    i’m with norm on that one….but then….maybe back then that was “the thing?”

  20. fenton denman says:

    you “heart debaters” might find it interesting to note the origin of the word…”sweetheart” One upon a time in scotland, a noble named robert the bruce cut an opponents heart out. his amour, had the heart preserved….and placed it acrtoss from her at every meal…
    to remind her of her lost sweet -heart.

  21. gail reimer says:

    fenton….thanks..and that IS weird..with a capital “W!”

  22. paula crane says:

    you got that right gail!….makes anne’s heart of gold seem like everyday stuff.

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