The Princess of Eboli
Ana de Mendoza de la Cerda y de Silva Cifuentes
|Born||29 June 1540|
Cifuentes, Guadalajara, Spain
|Died||2 February 1592 (aged 51)|
Pastrana, Guadalajara, Spain
|Noble family||House of Mendoza House of Silva|
|Spouse(s)||Ruy Gómez de Silva|
|Father||Diego Hurtado de Mendoza y de la Cerda|
|Mother||Catalina de Silva Cifuentes|
Ana de Mendoza de la Cerda y de Silva Cifuentes, Princess of Eboli, Duchess of Pastrana (in full, Spanish: Doña Ana de Mendoza y de la Cerda), (29 June 1540 - 2 February 1592) was a Spanish aristocrat, suo jure 2nd Princess of Mélito, 2nd Duchess of Francavilla and 3rd Countess of Aliano.
She was daughter of Diego Hurtado de Mendoza y de la Cerda (d.1578), Duke of Francavilla and Prince of Melito, Viceroy of Aragon and Doña Maria Catalina de Silva y Andrade, Countess de Cifuentes (d.1576).
Ana, Princess of Melito and Duchess of Pastrana, married Rui Gomes da Silva, 1st Prince of Éboli when she was 13 years old (1553), by recommendation of the regent of Spain, the future King Philip II. Her husband was a chief councillor and favourite with Philip, and from 1559 Prince of Éboli. Although she may have been blind in one eye, the Princess of Éboli was considered very attractive. She was an energetic person, and prominent in court life. One of her friends was the queen, Isabel de Valois.
Ana, Princess of Éboli, had ten children by her marriage:
After her husband's death in 1573, she spent three years in a convent, but returned to public life in 1576, forming an alliance at Court with the King's undersecretary of state, Antonio Pérez (1540-1615). They were accused of betraying state secrets which led to her arrest in 1579. Ana died 13 years later in prison on 2 February 1592.
There is a character called Princess Eboli based on Ana in Schiller's play Don Carlos, Infant von Spanien, and Verdi's opera Don Carlos. She is also the subject of Kate O'Brien's novel That Lady, and the 1955 film adaptation of O'Brien's novel, That Lady, starring Olivia de Havilland as Ana. La Tuerta, a stage play charting the life of Ana de Mendoza was performed at Bedlam Theatre as part of The Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2008. Julia Ormond played her in La Conjura de El Escorial (2008) and Belén Rueda in the TV film La princesa de Éboli (2010). In 2018, Arthur (TV series) episode "The Princess Problem" had Lydia introduce D.W. to her as an example of a handicapped princess, saying she was blinded in a childhood sword fight.