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Anne Neville

Anne Neville (1456–85), queen of Richard III. Anne was an important pawn in the ferocious political game of the later 15th cent. She was the second daughter of Richard Neville, earl of Warwick (‘the Kingmaker’). Her elder sister Isabella married George, duke of Clarence, one of Edward IV's brothers. In 1470 Anne was married to the young Edward, prince of Wales, heir to Henry VI. But her father was killed at Barnet in 1471 and her new husband at Tewkesbury, three weeks later. With the Yorkists temporarily on top, Anne was transferred to the other side and in 1472 became wife of Richard, duke of Gloucester, another of Edward IV's brothers, taking with her much of Warwick's former property. On Edward IV's death in 1483, Richard usurped the throne and Anne was crowned on 6 July. Her only son Edward, aged 8, was created prince of Wales in September 1483 but died in April 1484, leaving the royal couple childless. Richard became increasingly bitter and relations may have become strained. When Anne herself died in March 1485, speculation was rife and Richard was said to be casting around for a second wife. Her life as queen had lasted less than two years and her husband's as king did not last much longer.

Sue Minna Cannon

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