WCW: Anne of Austria


Anne of Austria (1601-66) was queen of France from 1615-43. She was born an infanta of Spain (but from the House of Hapsburg, hence the “of Austria”). She married Louis XIII of France in 1615, and the two were hot and cold throughout their marriage due to Louis being weird, several miscarriages, and politics, as Anne became involved in the political opposition to Louis’s minister, Cardinal Richelieu. A war between France and Spain didn’t help things.

Anne of Austria by Rubens, 1622-25, Norton Simon Museum

Anne of Austria by Rubens, 1622-25, Norton Simon Museum

Anne finally gave birth to the long-sought heir, the future Louis XIV, in 1638. Things remained strained with the king until his death in 1643.

Anne d'Autriche en costume royal, after Charles Beaubrun, c. 1650, Hofburg, Innsbruck

Anne d’Autriche en costume royal, after Charles Beaubrun, c. 1650, Hofburg, Innsbruck.

During the minority kingship of her son, Anne served as regent, from 1643-51. Her chief minister was Cardinal Mazarin, and there was all kinds of gossip about the two being lovers and even married. Anne lived her final years in a convent.

Portrait of Anne of Austria (1601-1666) by the workshop of Philippe de Champaigne c. 1647, via Wikimedia Commons

Portrait of Anne of Austria (1601-1666) by the workshop of Philippe de Champaigne c. 1647, via Wikimedia Commons

Anne of Austria has made it to screen a number of times, thanks in large part to adaptations of Alexandre Dumas’s novel, The Three Musketeers (1844) and its sequels, in which there’s a lot of protecting the queen and her honor. Let’s look at the many appearances of Queen Anne on screen!


Mary MacLaren in The Three Musketeers (1921)

The first of a million.

1921 The Three Musketeers

The standing ruff is cool!


Andrée Lafayette in Three Musketeers (1932)

A French feature film, and the first sound version of the Musketeers story.

1932 Three Musketeers

Standing ruffs (and ringlets) are clearly going to be a theme here. Hey, it’s a rare era where bangs are appropriate!


Gladys Cooper in At Sword’s Point (1952)

The children of the Three Musketeers are reunited to “halt the villainy of her treacherous nephew,” per Wikipedia.

1952 At Sword's Point

That’s her seated looking very couch-y (Photo by RKO Radio/Getty Images)


Katharina Renn in The Taking of Power by Louis XIV (1966)

A French TV film about Louis XIV’s rise to power — i.e. coming out from under his mother’s thumb.


Geraldine Chaplin in The Three Musketeers (1973) & The Four Musketeers (1974)

Highly successful feature films.

1974 Four Musketeers

Interesting layering…

1974 Three Musketeers


1974 Three Musketeers

They got the short-waisted/oversized sleeve thing right!

1974 Three Musketeers

Compare with the featured image on this post! I always wondered what the reference was here.


Brenda Bruce in The Man in the Iron Mask (1977)

A TV film adaptation of another of Dumas’s novels, this one The Vicomte de Bragelonne, about a secret (fictional) twin of Louis XIV.

1977 The Man in the Iron Mask

Not loving these ringlets.


Alisa Freyndlikh in D’artagnan and Three Musketeers (1979)

A Soviet musical miniseries.

1979 D'artagnan and Three Musketeers

Princess seams strike again!


Geraldine Chaplin in The Return of the Musketeers (1989)

A sequel to the 1973-74 films.

1989 The Return of the Musketeers

Okay so I have a running joke with a friend about goat-carts — brb, sending this to him.


Carmen Maura in Louis, enfant roi (1993)

A French film about the Fronde, a series of civil wars in France between 1648-53; opposition to child-king Louis XIV centered around taxation issues and attempts to limit the king’s power, but Louis eventually won, leading to absolutely monarchy in France.

1993 Louis, enfant roi

Hard to see any details!


Gabrielle Anwar in The Three Musketeers (1993)

A feature film.

1993 The Three Musketeers

I’m unimpressed, especially with the hair.

1993 The Three Musketeers

It’s seems very The Tudors-esque.

1993 The Three Musketeers

Riding? Swashbuckling? No idea!


Anne Parillaud in The Man in the Iron Mask (1998)

Another feature film!

1998 The Man in the Iron Mask

The veil is questionable but I like the black on black!

The Man in the Iron Mask (1998)

Nice dressing gown(?).

The Man in the Iron Mask (1998)

This seems very 1570s…


Colette Emmanuelle in Le roi danse (2000)

A French film about composer Lully and his relationship with Louix XIV, Molière, and composer Robert Cambert.

2000 Le roi danse

Lizard frill cap!


Alessandra Martines in The Queen & the Cardinal (2009)

A French TV movie about Anne and her supposed love affair with Cardinal Mazarin, on-and-off chief minister of France during this period.

The Queen & the Cardinal (2009)

Keeping the upholstery fabric industry afloat!

The Queen & the Cardinal (2009)

I hope she’s lounging, but I don’t remember…

The Queen & the Cardinal (2009)

Okay fabulous dramatic veil! And cute Louis XIV!

The Queen & the Cardinal (2009)

No hand embroidery made it into this film.


Juno Temple in The Three Musketeers (2011)

How many feature film adaptations of this do we need? Many, apparently!

2011 The Three Musketeers

I do want to watch this because everything looks pretty, if nothing else.

2011 The Three Musketeers

Short waist with long stomacher – very period-appropriate! Not loving the matching lace.

2011 The Three Musketeers

These are GORGEOUS colors, if potentially theatrical.


Alexandra Dowling in The Musketeers (2014-16)

The TV series that was a “gritty reboot” of the Musketeers story.

2014-16 The Musketeers

She looks like a roll of toilet paper after a cat played with it.

2014-16 The Musketeers

This is better for not being shredded!

2014-16 The Musketeers

Little House on the Prairie goes 17th century?


Rebecca Eady in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (2016)

I really don’t understand how Anne of Austria showed up in a TV series about superheroes (okay, there’s time travel involved), but read about it at the relevant fan wiki and let me know if you can understand it better than me.

2016 DC's Legends of Tomorrow

Massive confused face!


Dominique Blanc in Versailles (2015-18)

Queen Anne shows up in what I presume are flashbacks to Louis XIV’s childhood in this TV series about the adult king and his chateau and political power plays.

Versailles (2015-)


Vicky Krieps in The Three Musketeers: D’Artagnan (2023)

A very recent French feature film, which I will be watching because Louis Garrel. I’ll report back!

2023 Les Trois Mousquetaires - D'Artagnan

Nice lace! Or wait, is it embroidery?

2023 Les Trois Mousquetaires - D'Artagnan

Her hair could use a lot more ringlets. And that dress is very meh.

2023 Les Trois Mousquetaires - D'Artagnan

This is better, but the hair! Missed opportunity!

2023 Les Trois Mousquetaires - D'Artagnan

Okay THIS I like, from what I can see! Stripes! Wide sleeves! Hat!

Which is your favorite portrayal of Anne of Austria in frock flicks?

16 Responses

  1. Kat

    The Three Musketeers (2011) is absolutely banana crackers with all the steampunk and vaguely martial arts fight scenes but it does have one of my favorite set of actors for the Musketeers (after the 2014 series) – and the costumes are pretty (even if Milady’s action girl corset combo is a little OTT).

    If I recall the episodes properly, Anne’s blue dress from the 2014 Musketeers is when she’s in hiding/on the run so presumably it was their interpretation of ‘queen dresses down like peasant girl.’

  2. Kaerla Fellows

    Geraldine Page is right up there for me with Angela Lansbury in M-G-M’s 1948 “The Three Musketeers”. I hate this film because Frank Morgan as Louis is the definition of ridiculous; but Vincent Price as Richelieu opposite Lana Turner as Milady is delicious enough to make up for it. And D’Artagnan’s sword fight with Rochefort is so fun!

  3. Saraquill

    I’m now wondering how in how many of those Three Musketeers movies, did the trio actually use muskets?

    Also, I don’t remember if Anne of Austria ever showed up in the “Wishbone” Three Musketeers episode. If she did, then that would be my favorite version of her.

    • ED

      I know that the 1970s Musketeers (Messers Reed, Chamberlain, Finlay and York) showed Our Heroes do a spot of shooting as part of their war service.

  4. Aleko

    The extraordinary gold-edged-petals ruff on Geraldine Chaplin is weird, but it’s beautifully achieved and I have a sneaking sympathy for its designer; it looks like something s/he saw in a dream and just really, really wanted to create.

    • Northcountry girl

      I have always loved the Geraldine Chaplin version of Anne of Austria. I really like the short waisted style being seen on film (it’s rather rare). In so many of the others the waist is either 16th or later 17th century. That style of the 1630s, 1640s is so distinct! (I always think of Van Dyck portraits!) I also like that Geraldine Chaplin, while pretty, does not have just a normal actress prettiness. She is a mixture of her very attractive parents with extraordinary cheekbones!

      • ED

        It was only today that I did some digging into the Chaplain family tree and was quite impressed by the sheer number of beautiful ladies it has produced, in more than one generation.

        I was also a little amused to note that Ms. Oona Chaplain bears a strong resemblance to her Aunt Josephine, even stronger than the resemblance to her own mother (I’ve noticed at least one ‘lateral’ resemblance like that in my own family).

  5. André Hanselmann

    Could you miss Catherine Deneuve as queen Anne in that stupid version with Tim Roth as her major opponent and with the strange idea that the obviously old queen Anne never had born Louis XIV?!!!

    But there are so many adaptations (most very bad) of the “Three musketeers especially from France.

  6. ED

    I have a soft spot for the characters played by Ms. Juno Temple and Mr Freddie Fox, though the latter is comprehensively unlike the rather dark, gloomy and just a little bi-curious Louis XIII.

    On a related note, for some reason it always amuses me that Louis XIV was quite close with his mother, especially as a very young child (Lady Antonia Fraser’s mentioning that Queen Anne loved bathing her baby boy is quite touching) – having done his formidable best to come across as the untouchable Sun King, it’s rather charming to be reminded that he was a mortal human person.

  7. ekat

    I think my all time favorite might be Angela Lansbury, if only because it’s Angela Lansbury!

  8. Gray

    The wired petal collar Geraldine Chaplin I’ve seen in a black and white etching, or wood engraving somewhere… but I cannot find it on the internet anywhere. The soft one in the portrait is interesting, but there is , somewhere I swear! a period depiction of a wired one like she wears in the film.


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