"Nach dem Tod des Don Juan José 1679 kehrte Maria Anna nach Madrid zurück und traf für den geistesschwachen Sohn später in Konkurrenz zu dessen zwei Ehefrauen Marie Louise von Orleans und Maria Anna von Pfalz-Neuburg politische Entscheidungen." (in: Die Habsburger: Ein biographisches Lexikon, ebenda, S. 297).
Wir besitzen einen Augenzeugen, der uns berichtet, wie Maria Anna in der Zeit ihres Exils im Alcazar von Toledo, das von 1675 bis 1677 währte, aussah. Bei diesem Augenzeugen handelt es sich um die "Gräfin von Aulnoy", die die Königinmutter im Alcazar besuchte: "... we went through a great gallery and vast apartments, but saw in them so few people, that it did not look as if one could have there met with the Queen-mother of Spain. We found her seated in a great hall, of which the windows were all open, and had a prospect to the valley and the river. The hangings, cushions, carpets and canopies, were all of gray cloth. The Queen was leaning on a balcony, having in her hand a great pair of beads. When she saw us, she turned towards us, and received us with a countenance merry enough. We had the honour to kiss her hand, which is little, lean, and white. She is very pale, her complexion pure, her face rather long and flat. Her looks are agreeable, and her stature is of a middle size. She was dressed, like all the widows of Spain, in the habit of a nun, without so much as one hair appearing. And there are many (though she is not of that number) who cause all their hair to be cut off when they lose their husbands, for a greater expression of their grief. ... She asked me how long it was since I left France, and inquired if there was any discourse when I quitted it of a marriage between her son and Mademoiselle d'Orleans, and I told her no. Then she said she would show me Mademoiselle's picture, which was drawn from that possessed by the King, and she bade one of her ladies, who was an old duenna, and very ugly, bring it. A box, covered with black satin, and lined with green velvet, contained this portrait, which was about the size of one's hand, and painted in water colours. Do you find, says she, that it is like her? I assured her that none of her features were portrayed; for, indeed, it seemed to squint, the face was awry, and nothing could less resemble a princess so perfect as Mademoiselle. She asked me whether she was more or less handsome than this picture; and when I told her she was handsomer beyond comparison, - 'the king, my son, then;' said she, 'will be pleasantly deceived, for he believes this picture is just like her, and yet nobody can be better satisfied.' A little dwarf, but thick as a tun, and no taller than a good big mushroom, all clothed in gold and silver brocade, with long hair hanging down to her feet, then came in, and kneeling before the Queen, asked her if she would please to have supper. On hearing this, we offered to withdraw, but she told us we might follow her, and she went into a parlour, all of marble. She sat down to table alone, and her maids of honour, with the Camerara-Mayor, who looked very sad, came to wait on her. Some of them appeared to me very handsome. They talked to the Marchioness de Palacios, and told her they were horribly tired of the sort of life they passed, and that they dwelt in Toledo as if they were in a desert. There were several dishes placed before the Queen. The first were melons, cooled with ice, and some salads and milk, of which she eat plentifully before she touched any of the flesh, which looked ill enough. She does not want a stomach, and she drank a little pure wine, saying that was to digest her fruit. When she called for drink, one of the Menines, who are children of the highest quality, brought her a covered cup on a salver, and kneeling, gave it to the Camerara, who also kneeled when the Queen took it from her hands, and on the other side a lady of the palace presented, on her knees, a napkin to the Queen to wipe her mouth. She gave some dried sweetmeats to Donna Marguereta de Palacios, and to my daughter, saying to them they must not eat much of such things, because they soiled the teeth of young girls. She asked me divers times how much the most Christian Queen [ihre Cousine und gleichzeitig Stieftochter Maria Teresa, die Gattin des französischen Königs Ludwig XIV.] did, and how she diverted herself; and said that she had lately sent her some boxes of amber pastels, some gloves, and some chocolate. She was above an hour and a half at table, speaking little, but seemed cheerful enough. We desired to know her commands for Madrid; whereon she expressed a great deal of kindness and civility, and after that we took our leave. It cannot be denied that this queen has abundance of understanding, as well as courage and virtue, in bearing, in the way she does, so tedious a banishment." (in: John Dunlop: Memoirs of Spain – During the reign of Philip IV. and Charles II. From 1621 to 1700, Vol 2, id., pp. 123-125).