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Anne of Austria, Queen of Poland

Queen consort of Poland and Sweden
The basics
Date of birth Graz, Styria, Austria
Date of death Feb 10, 1598 Warsaw, Masovian Voivodeship, Poland
Mother: Maria Anna of Bavaria
Brother(s): Leopold V Archduke of Austria Charles of Austria Bishop of Wroclaw Ferdinand II Holy Roman Emperor Archduke Maximilian Ernest of Austria
Children: Władysław IV Vasa Anna Maria Wazówna
Sister(s): Margaret of Austria Queen of Spain Constance of Austria Archduchess Maria Christina of Austria Archduchess Gregoria Maximiliana of Austria Archduchess Catherine Renata of Austria Archduchess Eleanor of Austria Archduchess Maria Maddalena of Austria
Spouse: Sigismund III Vasa
Father: Charles II Archduke of Austria
Authority VIAF id
The details

Anne of Austria (16 August 1573 – 10 February 1598) was queen consort of Poland and Sweden by marriage to King Sigismund III Vasa.


Anne was a daughter of Charles II of Austria and Maria Anna of Bavaria. Her paternal grandparents were Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor and Anne of Bohemia (1503–1547), daughter of King Ladislaus II of Bohemia and Hungary and his wife Anne of Foix-Candale.

Anne became the first wife of Sigismund of Poland on 31 May 1592. This marriage was opposed by many nobles (szlachta) of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, who were opposed to the alliance with the Austrian Habsburgs that Sigismund pursued.

When Sigismund sent a diplomatic mission, led by Cardinal Radziwill, to Prague for his bride, the anti-Habsburg party with chancellor Jan Zamoyski guarded the borders to prevent the Archduchess from entering the country. Anne evaded the guards, arrived in Kraków and was crowned in May 1592 by Primas Karnkowski as the Queen of Poland. (Later during her lifetime the capital of the Commonwealth was moved from Kraków to Warsaw.)

In 1594, she followed her spouse to Sweden, where she was crowned as the Queen of Sweden in Uppsala the 19 February. The Poles demanded that she leave her daughter behind her as security in Poland during their stay in Sweden, and she was afraid that the Swedes would demand the same when she returned to Poland, if she gave birth during her stay in Sweden. 19 April 1594, she gave birth to a daughter, whose baptism was elaborately celebrated at the Swedish court, but the child died soon after. During her stay in Sweden, she became involved in a conflict with Dowager Queen Gunilla Bielke, partially for religious reasons. She accused Gunilla for having stolen valuables from the Royal Palace. She was regarded as quite polite but distant and depressive during her stay. She did not speak Swedish, and she regarded the Swedish people as heretics and rebels and only showed herself in public when she was forced to. At her departure from Sweden in July 1594, she was granted Linköping, Söderköping and Stegeborg on the condition that she respect the Protestant belief within these feifs.

Anne and Sigismund fell in love and Anne gained the friendship and respect of many of her former enemies with her politeness and culture.


They had five children, but only Władysław lived to become an adult:

  1. Anna Maria (23 May 1593 – 9 February 1600)
  2. Catherine (19 April 1594 – 16 May 1594)
  3. Władysław (9 June 1595 – 20 May 1648), (reigned 1632-1648 as Władysław IV of Poland)
  4. Catherine (27 September 1596 – 2 June 1597)
  5. Christopher (10 February 1598 – 10 February 1598)

Anne died on 10 February 1598 in Warsaw as a result of haemorrhage during the birth of her last child, who also died then. Sigismund III then married her sister Constance Renate of Habsburg.


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