She was a Spanish princess by birth. So why is she called "of Austria"? Is it because her mother was an Austrian princess? But presumably, it should be the person's place of birth that gives them their sobriquet, not their parents'.

Come to think of it, is the name "Anne of Austria" even contemporarily attested? Or is it a later appellation, not used during her lifetime?

UPDATE As @Semaphore has now convincingly showed, Anne really had the title of Austrian Archduchess (something baldl asserted in wikipedia, but not sourced there). Still, we need to find out why the "of Austria" became her standard sobriquet.

2 Answers 2


That same wiki post on Anne of Austria contains this line:

In spite of her birth in Spain, she was referred to as Anne of Austria because the rulers of Spain belonged to the House of Austria.[1]

which answers your question.

  • 1
    Well, not really. I missed that part somehow, so thanks for spotting it, but it's not really wiki at its best. I mean, I figured out myself that she could have been called so because of her familial connections (see my OP). However, wiki gives no citation here so it's not clear that its guess is any more authoritative than mine or yours. (And it could be even an anachronism, as I conjecture). Wiki also claims she was an archduchess but the titles section does not confirm that. So I am still waiting for a weighty source. Oct 13, 2014 at 19:37
  • @FelixGoldberg I don't think a source is possible on something that's basically a matter of convention, tbh.
    – Semaphore
    Dec 11, 2017 at 21:19

Anne of Austria was a direct descendant of King Charles V of "Austria," through her father, King Philip III of Spain. This man's paternal grandfather was Charles V of Austria, who in turn, was the grandson of Maximilian of Austria and Marie of Burgundy, on his father's side, and Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain on his mother's side.

So it's just a matter of Anne of "Austria" inheriting her patrilineal antecedents in her "surname," or designation.

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