Anne of Kiev

Anne of Kiev or Anna Yaroslavna (between 1024 and 1032 – 1075), daughter of Yaroslav I of Kiev and his wife Ingegerd Olofsdotter, was the queen consort of France as the wife of Henry I, and regent for her son Philip I.

After the death of his first wife, Matilda, King Henry searched the courts of Europe for a suitable bride, but could not locate a princess who was not related to him within illegal degrees of kinship. At last he sent an embassy to distant Kiev, which returned with Anne (also called Agnes or Anna). Anne and Henry were married at the cathedral of Reims on May 19 1051. They had three sons:
*Philip (May 23, 1052 – July 30 1108) - Anne is credited with bringing the name Philip to Western Europe. She imported this Greek name ("Philippos", from "philos" (love) and "hippos" (horse), meaning "the one that love horses") from her Eastern Orthodox culture.
*Hugh (1057 – October 18 1102) - called "the Great" or "Magnus", later Count of Crépi, who married the heiress of Vermandois and died on crusade in Tarsus, Cilicia.
*Robert (c. 1055–c. 1060)

For six years after Henry's death in 1060, she served as regent for Philip, who was only seven at the time. She was the first queen of France to serve as regent. Her co-regent was Count Baldwin V of Flanders. Anne was a literate woman, rare for the time, but there was some opposition to her as regent on the grounds that her mastery of French was less than fluent.

A year after the king's death, Anne, acting as regent, took a passionate fancy for Count Ralph III of Valois, a man whose political ambition encouraged him to repudiate his wife to marry Anne in 1062. Accused of adultery, Ralph's wife appealed to Pope Alexander II, who excommunicated the couple. The young king Philip forgave his mother, which was just as well, since he was to find himself in a very similar predicament in the 1090s. Ralph died in September 1074, at which time Anne returned to the French court. She died in 1075, was buried at Villiers Abbey, La-Ferte-Alais, Essonne and her obits were celebrated on September 5.

Note

In 1717, Tsar Peter the Great stopped in the cathedral in Rheims where the French monarchs were crowned. He was shown the missal on which all French kings since the 11th century swore their coronation oaths. To everyone's surprise, he began reading from the missal which was written in Old Church Slavonic, the ancestor of literary Russian.

Anna had brought the missal with her from Kiev to the Church where she and Louis had taken their vows. All French monarchs, save the Bonapartes, were crowned after swearing their oaths on it.

ources

*Bauthier, Robert-Henri. "Anne de Kiev reine de France et la politique royale au Xe siècle, revue des Etudes Slaves, Vol. 57", 1985


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