]]|210px|alt=|'Duchess of Exeter']]
'Duchess of Exeter'
1st Duchess of Exeter (more...)
Reign 3 August 1562 - 12 November 1609
Predecessor Dukedom established
Successor George Veldon, 2nd Duke of Exeter
Spouse George Veldon, 1st Earl of Winchester

m. April 1563

Issue Rose Veldon

Sophia Veldon
Amalia Veldon
Joyce Veldon
George Veldon, 2nd Duke of Exeter
Mary Veldon
John Veldon

House House of La Marck (by birth)

House of Veldon (by marriage)

Father William, Duke of Julich-Cleves-Berg
Mother Sophia, Duchess of Guelders
Born 12 June 1541
Duchy of Guelders
Died 12 November 1609 (aged 68)
Richmond Palace, England
Burial Henry VII's Chapel, Westminster Abbey
Religion Anglican
Anna of Cleves, 1st Duchess of Exeter (12 June 1541 - 12 November 1609) was the youngest sister of Isabella of Cleves, Queen of Edward VI. She had an elder twin sister, Sophia of Cleves that died in childhood. She was the only other child of Sophia of Guelders to survive childhood.

Early Life

Like her three elder sisters, Anna of Cleves was raised in England after her mother died, months after the birth of her and her elder twin sister. From birth, it was clear that she was the more robust of the two. As a young child, she and Sophia were inseparable, and when Sophia fell ill at the age of 12, Anna had to be restrained from entering the sick room. Sophia died months later, from what appears to be smallpox and Anna fell in a deep depression. She was treated with regular bleeding, but she could not shake the depression. In 1554, she was sent to an asylum under the name Anne Exeter. Like her sister, Isabella, she was tutored by Lady Cromwell,

Life in the Asylum

Anna spent her teenage years in the asylum, but after a year, it was clear that Anna was not mad. Her aunt, Anne of Cleves, sent her tutor to the asylum so that she could still finish her education, however,Lady Cromwell had always disliked Anna, so she did not report Anna's condition to Lady Anne. Her education was finished after two years, and Anna volunteered to help care for the mentally ill. Her life throughout this period is largely undocumented until she is visited by Isabella, after her sister had become Queen of England. In 1562, she was officially introduced to the court.

Court Life

Anna arrived to court at the height of Marie de Meleun's power. She was a moderating influence at court to counteract the heavy-handed approach of Ruth Howard. Edward had strong affection for his sister-in-law because of her flattering ability and created her the Duchess of Exeter in her own right, making her the only woman to be created a Duchess and the second woman to be raised to the peerage, after Anne Boleyn. She was betrothed to George Veldon in late 1562 and after he was raised to an earldom, she married him. She and her husband got along well, except when the king summoned Parliament. In Anna's marriage contract, Edward failed to specify if she would be allowed to attend Parliament or if her husband would go in her stead. She refused to give up her rights as a peer of the realm and also refused to allow her husband to retain her titles if she were to die before him.

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