ANN FROM SVIDNICE
Charming young Ann from Svidnice Duchy lived peacefully in her Silesian countryside until the time of her being vowed to recently born Wenceslaus, son of king Charles IV. However, when Wenceslaus died in his early age, the king was bereft of his second wife, and he still didn't have any of his inheritors. Then one of the many dynastic chess games took place which wasn't anything exceptional in those days. At that time, Ann was already thirteen years old. Such an age was considered to be just an opportune time for her entering into matrimony. This being so, Charles did not hesitate. He was hoping that eventually, he would live to see a successor of the Czech king's throne. Moreover, he also cherished the trust that although a small, but a capital Svidnice Duchy would simultaneously become a part of his realm. Considering these facts, he decided in 1353 to introduce the beautiful Ann as his third spouse to the Prague castle.
Indeed, it was then a period of rather complicated diplomatic negotiations, especially as at that time, several thrones of the prominent European dynasties were at stake. Some other countries, like Poland, Austria, Hungary, and Brandenburg were also involved in matrimonial politics of the momentous Czech king. After all, it was important that the outcome of such agreements would be favorable for the subsequent historial development of the Czech kingdom. In the meantime, Charles was under a stressful situation, as he had to wait for eight years, until his desire was fulfilled, viz. when the Queen gave birth to a son. Unfortunately, the king was rather uncritically and prematurely happy. Such an attitude was most probably reflecting itself in the education of the young prince who was still in swaddling clothes. Moreover, the two years old toddler Wenceslaus became already familiar with the beauty of the Czech crown. In those days, it was expected that he would safeguard for himself the future sovereign authority in Bohemia. The stone portrait of Ann from Svidnice, lodged in the triforium of the St. Vitus cathedral in Prague represents her as a mature woman of ladylike countenance and of very long curly hair. The majestic royal appearance confers her not only a grave dignity but also a unique nobility. After all, based on the hitherto preserved portraits, she was considered to be the most beautiful spouse in comparison with all the previous wifes of Charles. Even now, when we look at the stone portrait of the face, one gets impression that her eyes are ,talking" to us. They express both love and happiness, which fate conferred upon her in such a lucky way, i.e. to live by the side of such a significant sovereign. Taking into consideration the records of her contemporaries, it follows from them that she was fair-haired and her eyes were blue. These traits increased her esthetic appearance all the more.
Ann lived to see a triple coronation, as pretty soon after her wedding, she was adorned by the Czech crown. Only one year afterwards, she got the Roman crown, and the next year, she was crowned along with Charles with the Imperial crown. Considering her rather early youth, Ann was able to achieve quite a feat within short time.
Unfortunately, the human fate was somewhat more merciless than the political one. She died at the delivery of her third child, although she was not yet twenty-four years old. Thus, the third wife of Charles IV and the Mother of an inheritor of the crown, viz. Wenceslaus IV passed away reconciled to her fate. Destiny granted her a famous and grandiose life by the side of an exceptional husband. Regrettably, her life was rather too short. Nonetheless, her name is recorded by history in capital letters.
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