Queen consort of England
Born June 11, 1456(1456-06-11)
Died March 16, 1485 (aged 28), aged 28
Consort June 26, 1483 - March 16, 1485
Consort to Edward of Westminster (1470-1471)
Richard III (1472-1485)
Issue Edward of Middleham
Father Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick
Mother Anne Neville, Countess of Warwick
Anne Neville (June 11, 1456 – March 16, 1485) was Queen consort of King Richard III of England 1483-1485.
1 Early life
2 Princess of Wales
3 Duchess of Gloucester
4 Queen consort of England
5 Depictions in fiction
Anne was born on June 11, 1456, at Warwick Castle, the younger daughter of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick and Anne Beauchamp. Throughout her short life, she would be used as a political pawn. Much of her childhood was spent at Middleham Castle, one of her father's properties, where she and her elder sister, Isabella Neville, came into contact with the younger sons of Richard, Duke of York. These boys would play a major role in the destiny of both sisters.
Princess of Wales
At fourteen, Anne was betrothed by her father to Edward, Prince of Wales, heir to Henry VI of England. Anne's father, dissatisfied with the rewards he had received for helping King Edward IV of England gain the throne, compared with the favours lavished on the parasitic Woodvilles, had changed sides and allied himself with Margaret of Anjou, Queen consort of Henry VI. Margaret harboured suspicions about Warwick's motives, particularly since Anne's sister, Isabel, had by now married the reigning king's brother, George, Duke of Clarence. It is not certain that a formal marriage ceremony ever took place between Anne and Edward — and, if so, whether their marriage was ever consummated.
As part of the formal agreement, the fifteen year old Anne was formally betrothed (the legal equivalent of marriage) to the seventeen year old Edward at the Chateau d'Amboise in France, and married in Angers Cathedral probably on 13 December 1470.
The Earl of Warwick, who had been dispatched by Margaret to England to restore King Henry to the throne, succeeded in this task but was defeated and killed in battle a few months later. Anne arrived back in England with her new husband and mother-in-law to find herself fatherless.
With the death of Edward at the Battle of Tewkesbury on May 4, 1471, she was taken prisoner along with Queen Margaret. She was taken first to Coventry and then to the Duke of Clarence's house in London where she became the subject of some dispute between Clarence and Richard.
Clarence, already married to her sister and anxious to secure the whole of the Neville inheritance, treated her as his ward while Richard, keen to have her to wife along with half the Neville inheritance, tracked her down and escorted her to sanctuary at the Church of St Martin le Grand.
They were married without papal dispensation early next year and immediately left for Middleham Castle. Eleven years later she was crowned with Richard on 6 July 1483. Their only son, Edward died the following April. Soon after she was taken ill with consumption and died at Westminster on 16th March 1485, a few weeks before her 29th birthday. She was buried on the south side of the High Altar in Westminster Abbey.
Rumours that she had been poisoned strained relations between some Nevilles and Richard.
Duchess of Gloucester
The marriage of Anne Neville and Richard, Duke of Gloucester, took place on July 12, 1472, at Westminster Abbey, and they made their marital home in the familiar surroundings of Middleham Castle, Richard having been appointed Governor of the North on the king's behalf. They had only one child, Edward, born at Middleham in around 1473. Anne's health was never good, and she probably suffered from tuberculosis.
Queen consort of England
On April 9, 1483, Edward IV died and Richard was named Lord Protector for his minor nephew Edward of London. On June 25, 1483, Edward and his siblings were declared illegitimate, on the grounds that his father had been contracted to Lady Eleanor Butler at the time of his marriage to Elizabeth Woodville. Richard inherited the throne as King Richard III. Anne was crowned Queen consort and her son was created Prince of Wales; however, Edward of Middleham died suddenly on April 9, 1484 at Sheriff Hutton, while his parents were absent. Following their bereavement, Anne effectively adopted her nephew, Edward, Earl of Warwick, and Richard made the boy his heir, probably in deference to her wishes.
Rumours that Richard planned to divorce Anne and marry his niece, Elizabeth of York, arose after the death of their son and heir, but there is little evidence for this and none at all for the later rumour that he had poisoned her. Anne died, probably of tuberculosis, on March 16, 1485, at Westminster, where she was buried to the right of the High Altar next to the door leading back into the Confessor's Chapel in an unmarked grave. There was no memorial to her until the late 20th century, when a bronze tablet was erected on a wall near her grave by the Richard III Society in 1960.
Depictions in fiction
Anne is portrayed by Joan Camden in the film The Tower of London (1962). The story of Anne and Richard is richly portrayed in the 1982 novel The Sunne in Splendor by Sharon Kay Penman, which presents a strongly sympathetic portrayal of Richard and has been praised by the Richard III Society for its meticulous research. Anne Neville's love affair with Richard is also depicted in the award-winning The Rose of York: Love & War by Sandra Worth (2003). The early lives of Anne and Richard are dramatized in parallel fashion in Rhoda Edwards' Fortune's Wheel and their marriage and last years in The Broken Sword (alternately Some Touch of Pity), both published in the 1970s. Desire the Kingdom: A Story of the Last Plantagenets (2002), by Paula Simonds Zabka, features Anne as the protagonist in a story set towards the end of the War of the Roses. The book "The Reluctant Queen, the Story of Anne of York" by Jean Plaidy.
Anne features only fleetingly in William Shakespeare's Richard III, in the early scenes when she is persuaded to consider Richard as a husband and towards the end of the play as a ghost. She is portrayed by Claire Bloom in Laurence Olivier's Richard III, Kristin Scott Thomas in Ian McKellen's 1995 adaptation of the play and by Winona Ryder in the 1996 movie Looking for Richard.