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Anna of Austria, (1549 – 1580) married her Uncle Philip II to become the Queen Consort of Spain. She came from a long line of big-name royalty and many of her siblings were quite prominent as well.

She was the oldest daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II, so as you can probably guess… she was highly sought after by all the single men of the European courts. Unluckily, her maternal Uncle’s third wife died in childbirth- leaving a perfect (WTF?) spot for the young beauty to take reign.

The marriage, for obvious reasons, was not favorable and opposed by Pope Pius V. But Philip was in love and incredibly devoted to Anna. They had five children, including 4 sons. Which is all Philip really cared about- a male heir.

Their first son, Ferdinand cane down with a bad case of dysentery at the age of six. Philip insisted he eat tortillas— but um, that didn’t quite work, the poor boy  passed away in 1578.  His title was passed on to Anna and Philip’s second son, Carlos Lorenzo. Carlos died at the age of 2 and their 3rd son, Diego, also died quite young- at age 7. Very tragic times. Luckily for the Habsburgs, Philip III, their 4th son, was a strong virile child that grew up to be King of Spain and Portugal.

Following in his father’s incestuous footsteps… Philip III married his cousin. Sorry, I know this was common for the times, but still hard to read.

Back to Anna- she was definitely a knock-out, and described as lively and happy, but a bit distant from her children. She died of heart failure just after giving birth to her 5th child, Maria, who passed away just 3 years later.