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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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Queen for (more than) a Day – Part One




The story of the Queen For More Than a Day is a unique slice of French History. Which, as you may remember from THIS POST pretty much takes the cake(with the cherry on top) in the  Historical Uniqueness Sweepstakes.

The Queen in question was able to accomplish something no other lady of her day was able to do. Become Queen of France, twice. And, unusual (and unique) as that historical milestone was, she did it in the usual way. Marrying two Kings. (Seperately, bien sur.)

The lady’s name was Anne de Bretange. And our riverting drama begins when Anne, at the tender age of 14, marries King Charles 8. (can you say: “King’s have more fun?”)

As you’ll recall from “expanding your empire 101” the quickest way to..well…expand you empire, was to have a female of your family – or your cousin’s/uncle’s family…or barring that….your gardener’s family…marry someone noble with lotsa land.

The preferences in order of star rating being a duke, a prince, and, at the top o’ da ladder – a King.

So – no flies on Anne de Bretange!

While not implying that love did not bloom in Anne’s union with Charles, the “arranged marriage” concept was pretty much the “business as usual” m.o. of (royal, and wannabe royal) matrimony back in the day.

However, Anne’s situation was somewhat, DA BG doth say,(again) “Unique.”

Anne became the Duchess of Brittany(Bretagne) following the death of her Father, Francis, who fell from his horse.

This resulted in a second war between France and Brittany. So, Job no. one for Anne was obviously to marry someone (preferably anti-French) who could help hold her Duchy(the territority of Brittany) together.

Maximillian the first of Austria was recruited. Anne’s marriage to him(by proxy…which means they probably never slept in the same bed) wasn’t received positively by the French. As you can well imagine.

More blue meanies: Anne’s presumed allies were too busy with their own wars to lend a sword or two.

The French, led by Charles 8 were banging on the gate.The turning point came when Anne, having received no aid from Hubby Max. saw her captial of Rennes fall into French Hands.

Those of Charles 8, to be precise.

Anne became engaged to Charles there. Despite the howls from the Austrians – because she was already “married” to Max. – and because Charles was supposed to hook up with Max’s Daughter, Margaret.

“tant pis” (too bad) for the Austrians.

Charles and Anne were married in the Chateau de Langais on December 6, 1491

Part Two of   Queen For More Than a Day – next time.

’til then.you might enjoy this slice of “Anne-o-rama”



What are ya thinkin’?

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32 Responses to “Queen for (more than) a Day – Part One”

  1. fabian gonzalez says:

    i love the way you take complex stories like this one and make them easy and enjoyable!

  2. geri walters says:

    absolutely fabian!…not to mention da bg’s humorous style.

  3. carleton stenns says:

    one thing that fabian and geri didn’t mention (and i agree with them BTW) – but implied….was that da bg, while simplified events in his narrative, never decends to a “History for dummies” level.

  4. max worthing says:

    agree with the other commentors and really appreciated the video you included

  5. wanda cummings clark says:

    can’t wait for part two!

  6. steve orly says:

    i particularly like the way these historical pieces are broken up into easily digestible segments.

  7. joan danforth says:

    as always your reportage conveys the essence of time and place so important to appreciate these events. well done..AGAIN!

  8. lani marshall says:

    as you said at the start of your post…french history DOES take the cake..;with the cherry on top!

  9. barbara billy says:

    from your description of events….doesn’t seem like anne had any other option but to marry the guy….

  10. hugo benson says:

    i get your drift barbara…..but i’m sure other options….less pleasant when your country has been conquered..did exist….but she chose, i would think, the path of least resistance.

  11. dave winston says:

    hugo….i believe the adjective you’re looking for here is…”pragmatic?”

  12. hugo benson says:

    absolutely dave! (if only i had your razor sharp brain – lol)

  13. dave winston says:

    it IS a heavy responsibility, hugo. but…somebody’s got to do it (LOL!)

  14. bart stebbens says:

    really an unusual story…..to use your adjective…and a good one! keep it up!!

  15. paul castman says:

    the song in the video is very evocative…..really takes you into the atmosphere of those times….as much as any song can, of course. well done!

  16. ingrid potman says:

    thanks a big “10-4” from me as well paul. leave it to da bg to share the best(and most unique) stuff with us.

  17. sheila watson says:

    this may be slightly off topic…but i’m wondering if there were ANY royal marriagesd that WEREN’t arranged?

  18. valerie ranmis says:

    good point sheila!…and i don’t think it’s off topic…”au contraire!” (lol)

  19. cal worthington says:

    ok, sheila and valerie….agree it’s a good point…..but logic (and History, as far as I can tell) would argue that there are two answers to that question. 1. Never. 2. absolutely never.

  20. barry mcmaster says:

    cal….you ARE an optimist! (NOT!) hope the girls aren’t heartbroken to have their romantic fantasies quashed. (lol)

  21. dani ashford says:

    barry….dreams can be “quashed”…fantasies live forever.

  22. ted danbury says:

    i hear ya dani…but to be precise…”fantasies live..as long as you do”

  23. fran dennis says:

    ted….just wondering…are you an english teacher by any chance?

  24. ted danbury says:

    no fran….truth be told..i’m an international jewel thief with a consuming passion for bagels.

  25. amit singh says:

    i get the impression that french history is one continous action adventure movie!

  26. amit – agreed…certainly has more than it’s fair share of black clouds.

  27. andrea – not to nit pick – but – what would you consider a “fair share?”

  28. Agnes Mornin says:

    so sad…losing so many children…and dying at such a young age.

  29. agnes….you be a don’t have to be a mother to sympathize with all that she went through…especially in childbirth.

  30. Clive Powell says:

    the picture you paint of french history makes me glad, despite all our problems, that i’m alive now!

  31. with ya there clive….nuclear holocoust and pedophile preists not withstanding!

  32. Steve Cadd says:

    billy joel said it best: “Only the good die young.”

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