A Brief History
On May 19, 1051, Anne of Kiev, also known as Anna Yaroslavna, married the King of France, Henry I. When Henry died nine years later, Anne effectively ruled France as regent for her underage son who had inherited the throne.
Princess Anna was the daughter of Yaroslav the Wise who held the titles of Grand Prince of Kiev and Prince of Novgorod in the Rus civilization of what is now Ukraine that also became Russia and Belarus. Her mother was Ingegerd Olofsdotter, also known as Saint Anna or Irene, the daughter of Swedish King Olof Skötkonung.
The widow Anna wasted no time in remarrying, taking Count Ralph IV of Valois, a French nobleman, as her second husband. This marriage was controversial because Ralph was the cousin of King Henry I, and furthermore, was still technically married when he wed Anna! Ralph was excommunicated by the Catholic Church, and the scandal apparently cost Anna influence over the French Court.
Ralph died in 1074 and Anna died a year later, leaving modern Russia and Ukraine both to claim her as a native daughter.
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For more information, please see…
de la Croix, Rene. The Lives of the Kings & Queens of France. Alfred a Knopf Inc, 1979.
Delorme, Phillippe. Anne de Kiev: Epouse de Henri 1er. Pygmalion, 2015.
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