|Tenure||26 June 1483 – 16 March 1485|
|Coronation||6 July 1483|
|Spouse||Edward of Westminster, Prince of Wales
Richard III of England
|Edward of Middleham, Prince of Wales|
|Father||Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick|
|Mother||Anne de Beauchamp|
11 June 1456|
Warwick Castle, Warwickshire
|Died||16 March 1485
|Burial||Westminster Abbey, London|
Lady Anne Neville (11 June 1456 – 16 March 1485) was an English noblewoman, the daughter of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick (the "Kingmaker"), who became Princess of Wales as the wife of Edward of Westminster and Queen of England as the consort of King Richard III.
As a member of the powerful House of Neville, she was caught up in the Wars of the Roses fought between the House of York and House of Lancaster for the English crown. Her father Warwick betrothed her as a girl to Richard, youngest brother of King Edward IV, then later arranged her marriage to Edward, the son of King Henry VI.
After the deaths of Edward and Warwick, she married Richard. She became Queen when Richard seized the crown in June 1483, but died in March 1485, five months before Richard was killed at Bosworth Field. Her only child, with Richard, was Edward of Middleham (1473-1484), who predeceased her.
Early life 
Lady Anne was born at Warwick Castle, the younger daughter of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick and Anne de Beauchamp. Her father was one of the most powerful noblemen in England, and the most important supporter of the House of York. Her grandfather's sister, Cecily Neville, was the wife of Richard, Duke of York, who first claimed the crown for York and started the war.
Much of Anne's childhood was spent at Middleham Castle, one of her father's properties, where she and her elder sister, Isabella, met the Duke's two younger sons, Richard (the future king) and George (future Duke of Clarence). The Duke was killed in 1460, but with Warwick's help, his eldest son became King Edward IV in 1461. In 1469, Isabel married George, and in 1470, Anne was betrothed to Richard.
Princess of Wales 
Warwick was already at odds with Edward. In 1470, he allied himself with the ousted House of Lancaster. King Henry VI being demented, the real Lancastrian leader was his consort, Margaret of Anjou, who was suspicious of Warwick's motives. To quell these suspicions, Anne was formally betrothed to Henry and Margaret's son, Edward of Westminster at the Château d'Amboise in France. They were married in Angers Cathedral, probably on 13 December 1470.
Warwick had restored King Henry to the throne in October 1470. Anne was now Princess of Wales. But Warwick was defeated and killed by King Edward in the Battle of Barnet in April 1471.
Margaret had just returned to England with Anne and Prince Edward, bringing additional troops. At the Battle of Tewkesbury on 4 May 1471, King Edward crushed this last Lancastrian army. Prince Edward was killed on the field, and Anne was taken prisoner.
She was taken first to Coventry and then to the Duke of Clarence's house in London. She became the subject of some dispute between Clarence and Richard (now Duke of Gloucester), who still wanted to marry her. Anne and her sister Isabel (Clarence's wife) were heiresses to their father's Neville estates. Clarence, anxious to secure the whole Neville inheritance, treated her as his ward and opposed her getting married, which would strengthen her position to claim a share. King Edward refused her safe conduct to plead her case and she wrote to Queen Elizabeth, Elizabeth of York and several others to no avail.
There are various accounts of what happened subsequently, including the story that she escaped from Clarence's custody and sought refuge in a London cookshop disguised as a servant. Richard is said to have tracked her down and escorted her to sanctuary at the Church of St Martin le Grand.
Duchess of Gloucester 
The wedding of Anne Neville and Richard took place on 12 July 1472, at Westminster Abbey, and they made their marital home in the familiar surroundings of Middleham Castle, Richard having been appointed Governor of the North on the king's behalf. Upon her marriage, she was styled Duchess of Gloucester. They had only one child, Edward, born at Middleham in around 1473.
Queen consort of England 
On 9 April 1483, Edward IV died. Richard was named Lord Protector for his 12-year-old nephew Edward V. However, on 25 June 1483, Edward and his siblings were declared illegitimate, and Richard ascended the throne as King Richard III. Anne was crowned on 6 July 1483 by Thomas Bourchier, Archbishop of Canterbury, and her son was created Prince of Wales. She was accompanied by less than half the knights that her predecessor had, which might have reflected the reluctance of many to embrace the new regime.
Edward of Middleham died suddenly on 9 April 1484, at Sheriff Hutton, while his parents were absent. He was 10 years old.
After the death of his son and heir, rumours arose that Richard planned to divorce Anne and marry his niece, Elizabeth of York. There is little evidence for this, however, and none at all for the later rumour that he had poisoned Anne.
After the death of her son, Anne effectively adopted Edward, Earl of Warwick, the nine-year-old son of George of Clarence and her sister Isabel, who were both dead. The boy was thus nephew of both Richard and Anne. Richard made the boy his heir presumptive, probably in deference to Anne's wishes. Edward of Warwick was described as "simple-minded", and after Anne died, Richard promptly named another nephew — John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln — as his heir presumptive.
Anne died on 16 March 1485, probably of tuberculosis, at Westminster. The day she died, there was an eclipse, which some took to be an omen of Richard's fall from heavenly grace. She was buried in Westminster Abbey, in an unmarked grave to the right of the High Altar, next to the door to the Confessor's Chapel. Richard is said to have wept at her funeral. Nevertheless, rumours circulated that Richard had poisoned her in order to marry his niece Elizabeth of York.
There was no memorial to her until 1960, when a bronze tablet was erected on a wall near her grave by the Richard III Society.
Depictions in drama 
Anne appears in three scenes in William Shakespeare's Richard III. In Act I, Scene 2, Richard persuades her to marry him. In Act IV, Scene 1, just before Richard's coronation, Anne meets Edward IV's widow and laments her own position. In Act V, Scene 3, Anne is one of the ghosts that appear to Richard.
The role has been played in film by
- Claire Bloom in Richard III (1955 film)
- Kristin Scott Thomas in Richard III (1995 film)
- Winona Ryder in Looking for Richard (1996)
Depictions in fiction 
Anne is a major character in several historical novels. She is the title character in:
- Philippa Gregory, The Kingmaker's Daughter
- Jean Plaidy, The Reluctant Queen: The Story of Anne of York (1990)
She is a main character in:
- Sharon Kay Penman, The Sunne in Splendour (1982)
- Rhoda Edwards, Fortune's Wheel and The Broken Sword (alternately Some Touch of Pity)
- Hilton, Lisa (2008). Queens Consort, England's Medieval Queens. Great Britain: Weidenfeld & Nichelson. p. 444. ISBN 978-0-7538-2611-9.
- Paul Murray Kendall, Richard The Third, George Allen & Unwin Ltd., London, 1955, p.108
- Boutell, Charles (1863). A Manual of Heraldry, Historical and Popular. London: Winsor & Newton. p. 277
- Hilton, Lisa (2008). p. 456. Missing or empty
- Michael Hicks, Anne Neville: Queen to Richard III, Tempus, 2006, p.196.
Further reading 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Anne Neville|
- Michael Hicks, Anne Neville: Queen to Richard III, Tempus 2006.
- Amy Licence, Anne Neville, Richard III's Tragic Queen, Amberley 2013
Title last held byElizabeth Woodville
|Queen consort of England
Lady of Ireland
26 June 1483 – 16 March 1485
Title next held byElizabeth of York