Princess Anna van Oranje - Nassau, Prinzessin

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Princess Anna van Oranje - Nassau (Wettin, Albertiner), Prinzessin

Also Known As: "Anna von Saxen", "Anna of Saxony"
Birthplace: Dresden, Sachsen, Deutschland (HRR)
Death: December 17, 1577 (32)
Dresden, Sachsen, Deutschland(HRR)
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Moritz von Sachsen, Kurfürst and Agnes von Hessen, Kurfürstin zu Sachsen, Herzogin zu Sachsen-Coburg-Eisenach
Wife of Willem Van Oranje Nassau and William the Silent
Ex-partner of Jan Bartholomeus Rubens
Mother of Maurice of Oranje-Nassau, Prince; Prinzessin Anna van Nassau; Gravin Anna van Nassau, Gräfin zu Nassau-Dillenburg; Maurits August Phillip van Oranje- Nassau, Prinz; Countess Emilia van Oranje- Nassau, Gravin, Princess de Portugal and 1 other
Sister of Albrecht von Sachsen, Prinz

Occupation: Fürstin von Oranien Gräfin von Nassau-Dillenburg (1561 - 1574)
Managed by: Henn Sarv
Last Updated:

About Princess Anna van Oranje - Nassau, Prinzessin

The second marriage of William the Silent to Anna of Saxony produced a total of five children before their eventual separation. The first Anna was born on 31 October 1562 in Breda, but she died under a month later. Anna of Saxony spiralled into a deep depression after this, and this was not helped by the steady influx of congratulatory letters, which continued to come well into the next year. Anna gave birth to a second daughter on 5 November 1563 in Breda, and this time the child survived. Unfortunately, the happy occasion did nothing to lift her mother’s spirits. In 1567, the little girl was sent to live in Dillenburg where she was to be raised by her grandmother Juliana of Stolberg. By then the family had been joined by two sons, of which just one survived to adulthood. Another sister, Emilia, would follow in 1569. Their mother later had an illegitimate daughter named Christine van Dietz. At Dillenburg, Anna met her future husband, William Louis, Count of Nassau-Dillenburg. At the age of 13, she departed for Dordrecht where she lived with her stepmother Charlotte of Bourbon.

William Louis’s father objected to the match with Anna, mostly because the two were first cousins and because of her father’s many outstanding debts. William Louis wrote to his father that he had prayed to God to extinguish the flames of love if he did not approve of the marriage, but since this had not happened, it was apparently God’s will. His father at last consented. On 25 November 1587, the couple married in Franeker. Anna wore a silver dress with large flowers and French sleeves. They settled at Leeuwarden, and Anna quickly fell pregnant. She had a miscarriage at four months, which was followed by a growth in her womb. She seemed to rally at first but continued to have intermittent pains. Her last attack lasted eight hours, during which she suffered horrendous pains and could not speak. Shortly before midnight, she managed to utter the words, “Ach, Herr…”

She died on 13 June 1588 and had been married for just seven months. Apparently, she was already pregnant again. She was buried in the Grote Kerk in Leeuwarden.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Anna of Saxony (23 December 1544; Dresden - 18 December 1577; Dresden) was the only child and heiress of Maurice, Elector of Saxony, and Agnes, eldest daughter of Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse. She was the second wife of William the Silent.

Anna was reputedly unattractive and lame, but her wealth drew many suitors. She accepted the suit of William I of Orange, and they were married on 25 August 1561. Anna was unstable, swinging wildly between melancholia, violence, and suicidal despair. William soon tired of her unpredictable personality, and she became unpopular both with his family and the citizenry. Anna and William produced five children:

Anna (1562)

Anna (1563-1588)

Maurits August Philip (1564-1566)

Maurits (1567-1625)

Emilia (1569-1629)

She took up with her lawyer, Jan Rubens, in 1570 and gave birth to their illegitimate daughter, Christina, on 22 August 1571. News of this indiscretion reached her husband, who refused to acknowledge Christina as his own. Rubens was arrested, and William removed his and Anna's children, who never saw their mother again. Later, Rubens was released and returned to his wife, by whom he was father of Peter Paul Rubens.

Anna was sent to Beilstein castle along with Christina. Her behaviour became ever more deranged, until the servants were ordered to keep all knives away from her, lest she attack someone. Anna began to suffer from hallucinations and violent outbursts. Christina was removed from her care and sent to be raised with her half-siblings. William annulled their marriage, and remarried twice. Anna lived out the rest of her days in Dresden, until her death aged thirty-two in 1577.


As a matrilineal descendant of Barbara of Celje, she is a matrilineal relative of Nicholas II of Russia and therefore she and all her female-line descendants are members of mitochondrial haplogroup T.

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Princess Anna van Oranje - Nassau, Prinzessin's Timeline

December 23, 1544
Dresden, Sachsen, Deutschland (HRR)
October 31, 1562
Breda, North Brabant, Netherlands
November 5, 1563
Breda, Noord-Brabant, Nederlande
December 18, 1564
Brussels, Brussels, Belgium
November 14, 1567
Dillenburg, Nassau, Deutschland(HRR)
April 10, 1569
Köln, Köln, Deutschland(HRR)
August 22, 1571
Siegen-Wittgenstein, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
December 17, 1577
Age 33
Dresden, Sachsen, Deutschland(HRR)