WCW: Queen Anne Neville

19

As you may have noticed, I’ve been periodically going through and adding WCW’s on the various English queens that I skipped-for-being-too-big in my series. Last time was Elizabeth Woodville, now it’s her successor, Anne Neville. Why do we use these queens’ last names? I guess because they’re English, and not “of wherever”? Anyway! Anne Neville (1456-85) was Queen of England due to her marriage to Richard III, reigning for only two short years until her death. She was the younger daughter of the Earl of Warwick, known as “the kingmaker” for his many important power plays in English politics during the Wars of the Roses.

Richard III and Anne Neville from the Rous Roll, late 15th century, via Wikimedia Commons

Richard III and Anne Neville from the Rous Roll, late 15th century, via Wikimedia Commons

Because Anne was queen to Richard III, she’s been on screen a lot — albeit in usually minor roles and Shakespeare adaptations. Let’s run down her on-screen appearances!

 

Tower of London (1939)

Focused on Richard III (Basil Rathbone), with a very stereotypical look at the king, including “Boris Karloff as his fictitious club-footed executioner Mord” per Wikipedia. Rose Hobart plays Queen Anne.

1939 Tower of London

I’m preeeetty sure that’s her in the hood?

1939 Tower of London

What’s with the crappy version of the Mary Queen of Scots cap?

1939 Tower of London

It’s “medieval” y’all!

1939 Tower of London

Colorized!

 

Richard III (1955)

The Laurence Olivier adaptation of the Shakespeare play. Claire Bloom plays Anne with some rockin’ hennins.

Richard III (1955)

Why go tasteful when you can go BIG?

Richard-III 1955

That’s a lovely silhouette (Photo by Thurston Hopkins/Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Richard-III 1955

Hennin PLUS crown!

1955 Richard III

That’s a lot of pearls!

1955 Richard III

I love how ethereal the headdress is.

 

Tower of London (1962)

This one was a gothic horror take on Richard III (Vincent Price). Joan Camden plays his queen.

1962 Tower of London

I’m not loving that headdress. I mean, I’m glad her hair is up! But what exactly is that supposed to be? Correct me if I’m wrong!

 

Richard III (1983)

A BBC TV adaptation of the Shakespeare play. The great Zoe Wanamaker played Anne.

1983 Richard III

Sadly I can’t find any better/bigger pictures.

1983 Richard III

Pearly headpiece!

 

Richard III (1995)

Yet another Shakespeare adaptation, but this time set in the 1930s. Kristin Scott Thomas plays Anne in slinky bias-cut dresses.

Richard III (1995)

I’m guessing that’s a nightie?

Richard III (1995)

She looks FABULOUS.

Richard Iii 1995

Because the 1930s is all about hats!

 

Looking for Richard (1996)

Al Pacino’s documentary that combines performances of the Shakespeare play as well as explorations of Shakespeare’s continuing relevance. Winona Ryder plays Anne Neville.

1996 Looking for Richard

This is the only period costume image I can find of Ryder. I’m interested! I just wish I could see what she’s wearing more clearly.

 

The White Queen (2013)

Probably the most extensive take on Anne Neville, but because it’s based on a Philippa Fucking Gregory book, it’s not great. Faye Marsay gives a good performance as Anne, and it’s not her fault that her hair drove me crazy. Anne is one of the three main characters in the miniseries.

2013 The White Queen

That’s Anne on the right, with her older sister Isabel.

2013 The White Queen

This seems fine, if Renaissance-faire-y.

2013 The White Queen

Rocking the ermine, and hey, her hair is up!

2013 The White Queen

I like the fur-lined surcoat on Anne. Not too sure about Isabel’s dress, but I’m not a medieval expert.

2013 The White Queen

Hair. Annoying.

 

The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses (2016)

Part of the recent BBC series of Shakespeare adaptations. Phoebe Fox, and I haven’t seen it so I can’t comment further!

2016 The Hollow Crown- The Wars of the Roses

I have questions about that fabric, but I like the fur hood.

The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses (2016)

With Keeley Hawes as Elizabeth Woodville and Judi Dench as her mother Cecily.

Which is your favorite representation of Queen Anne Neville on screen?

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About the author

Kendra

Website

Kendra has been a fixture in the online costuming world since the late 1990s. Her website, Démodé Couture, is one of the most well-known online resources for historical costumers. In the summer of 2014, she published a book on 18th-century wig and hair styling. Kendra is a librarian at a university, specializing in history and fashion. She’s also an academic, with several articles on fashion history published in research journals.

19 Responses

  1. Fran in NYC

    In the Olivier Richard, the first and last photos are of Jane Shore, I think. Forgot the actress’ name!

    Reply
  2. SaucyMarla

    Love you all!! I believe that the caption for the last “Hollow Crown” pic should read “With Keeley Hawes as Elizabeth Woodville and Judi Dench as her mother-in-law Cecily”. Elizabeth’s mother was Jacquetta of Luxembourg.

    Reply
  3. Andy

    Hey, they even did that “high, almost bald looking foreheads are hot” thing that usually accompanied hennins in the 1955 one!

    Reply
  4. Roxana

    Those are some very nice hennins on Claire Bloom. The butterfly hennin is especially pretty.
    Winona Ryder could be wearing a double butterfly hennin, I’ve seen pictures of such things in historical costume books.
    I’m not a medieval expert either but I feel completely confident in calling Isabel’s regency style gown awful.

    Reply
  5. Abby

    Someone needs to make a film or miniseries based on Sharon Kay Penman’s The Sunne in Splendour! (also the Here Be Dragons books). That would be a good starting point for a three dimensional portrayal of Anne Neville.

    Reply
    • Roxana

      Anne is wearing her crown. When queens appeared in their full regalia, which only happened at great state events, they wore their hair down. Brides sometimes did so too, otherwise no. Kings and queens only appears in the crowns on very special occasions, their coronations, opening parliament, high holy days, that sort of thing. Otherwise they wore hats and headdresses like everybody else.

      Reply
  6. Frances

    I had a ghost-ish experience with Anne Neville on one trip England. I consider her a personal friend.

    Reply
      • Frances Germeshausen

        Well, at the time I was literally a card-carrying member of the Richard III Society, and I’m still all White Rose. Anyway, I was strolling around Westminster Abbey when a flash of light to my left caught my eye. The flash was the sun through the window reflecting off the perfectly-polished brass plaque over her grave. I felt as though she meant me to be sure to see her.

        Reply
  7. Roxana

    Anne Nevill is an intriguing figure. We know her public career, wife to Edward of Lancaster, ‘ward’s for which read prisoner of George of Clarence who wanted to force her into a Convent so he could have the entire Warwick inheritance instead of half, and her marriage to Richatd of Gloucester.
    What we don’t know is how she felt about any of it. Was she ambitious? Did she want to be Queen? Did she want to be married to either of her husband’s? We just don’t know. Was she a passive pawn or an eager behind the scenes intriguer?
    There is evidence that her marriage to Richard was a happy one. He seems to have been faithful to her and grieved at her death. It seems significant that he shared his coronation with Anne. Apparently he wanted her at his side during his greatest moment.

    Reply

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