period: Ana de Mendoza y de la Cerda

La conjura de El Escorial
That Lady
other portrayals

Period makeups: Ana de Mendoza y de la Cerda, Princess of Éboli

Ana de Mendoza y de la Cerda, Princess of Éboli (1540–1592) was a Spanish aristocrat who spent her last thirteen years imprisoned after being on the losing side of a court intrigue.

She married the Prince of Éboli, a minister to the King, when she was twelve years old. They had ten children before her husband’s death in 1573. Thereafter she retired to a convent but after three years she returned to public life, forming an alliance at Court with the King’s undersecretary of state, Antonio Pérez.

In 1579 the pair were accused of betraying state secrets and arrested; she remained imprisoned until her death in 1592.

She was considered one of the more talented women of her time and – despite having lost an eye in a mock duel when she was young – was regarded as one of the most beautiful ladies in Spain.