Anne Amelia of England
Queen Consort of Portugal
Tenure 15 March 1576 - 4 August 1578
Predecessor Joanna of Austia
Successor Isabelle Sophia de Anjou
Queen Consort of Portugal
Spouses Sebastian I of Portugal

m. March 1576

Sebastian II of Portgual

Isabel Caterina of Portgual
Duarte II of Portgual

House House of Tudor (by birth)

House of Aviz (by marriage)

Father Edward VI of England
Mother Isabella of Cleves
Born 16 April 1559
Died 14 February 1615 (aged 55)
Lisbon, Portugal
Burial Jeronimos Monastary
Religion Anglican

Anne Amelia or Anna Amalia (16 April 1559 -14 February 1615) was the second eldest daughter of Isabella of Cleves and Edward VI of England.

Early Life

Anne Amelia was born on 16 April 1559, as the second daughter and fifth, fourth living child of Edward VI and Isabella of Cleves. Her birth also marked the beginning of her father's longstanding affair with Marie de Meleun. Her betrothal was a source of constant tension between her parents, her father preferring a German match, while her mother advocated for a Portuguese match. Anne was very close to Jane and Philippa during her childhood. During a joust to her father's health in 1562, Edward VI asked for her favor to avoid offending his wife and mistress.


Anne's mother betrothed her to Sebastian of Portugal in 1563 and the match stood until 1572, when her mother offered her elder sister Jane in place of Anne. When Jane was discovered to have married Henry of Navarre, Queen Isabella reinstated Anne as the intended bride. Three years later, Anne finally arrived in Lisbon, aged 16 and married King Sebastian.


Married life was a difficult adjustment for both Anne and Sebastian. Anne was accepted by the Portuguese people, but soon found her husband to be repulsed by her feminine nature. After falling pregnant, her husband avoided her altogether and she discovered him in the embrace of one of his favorites. The birth of their first child, Infante Duarte in late 1576 brought Anne much praise from the council until she attempted to become involved in foreign affairs. She and Sebastian clashed often about his preference for male company and her religion. She became obstinate, often reading Protestant texts in plain view of the court and encouraged her ladies to convert. However, she also enjoyed times of calm with her husband, such as the months immediately following the birth of Sebastian. Before her husband left on his ill fated campaign to Morocco, she begged him for hours to stay with her in Portugal to see their child (the twins Isabel Caterina and Duarte) born. She was so heartbroken when she received the news of his death she caused herself to go into a premature labor. She dressed in black for the rest of her life and refused to remarry several times, despite being only 19 when widowed.


When Sebastian died, Anne Amelia was in confinement and Henry of Evora, great-uncle to Sebastian, became regent. Once Anne Amelia emerged, she remained in mourning and entrusted the government to the men, giving little input, although her older siblings Jane Margaret and Alexander I urged her to take a more active role in government. Anne Amelia remained uninterested in government, spending much of her time praying for the return of her husband and for his soul. Her elder son, Sebastian, died in 1582 and she blamed the Duke of Aveiro for her son's death as he had ordered him to be moved during the winter and changed his governess. Aware that the dynasty now rested on her younger son Duarte, Anne Amelia took control of the regency and her children. She arranged a marriage between her son and her niece, Isabelle Sophie de Anjou to ease Franco-Portuguese relations, though it caused a rift between her and her elder sister, Queen Jane of France. She turned her attention to her daughter Isabel Caterina and the new states in Eastern Europe. The Kingdom of Serbia caught her attention and her daughter became Queen Consort. Anne Amelia continued the reforms put in place by her husband and fought off a Spanish invasion in 1587 that attempted to put Philip of Spain on the throne. Her son reached his majority in 1593 and she stepped down as regent, though her son continued to ask for her advice and input well into his reign.

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