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House of Stuart - Queen Anne

Name: Queen Anne
Father: James II
Mother: Anne Hyde
Born: February 6, 1665 at St. James Palace, London
Ascended to the throne: March 8, 1702 aged 37 years
Crowned: April 23, 1702 at Westminster Abbey
Married: George, son of Frederick III of Denmark, on July 28, 1683
Children: Eighteen, including miscarriages and still-born, of whom only one William survived to age of 11
Died: August 1, 1714 at Kensington Palace , aged 49 years, 5 months, and 22 days
Buried at: Westminster

Anne was the second daughter of James, Duke of York, who became James II, and his first wife, Anne Hyde, daughter of Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon. Anne and her elder sister Mary received a Protestant upbringing although their father James converted to Catholicism and remarried. In 1683 Anne married Prince George of Denmark (1653–1708). She had between 16 and 18 pregnancies but only one child survived - William, Duke of Gloucester who died aged 11 of smallpox in 1700.

Her sister Mary married William of Orange but Anne was forbidden by her father to visit her in the Netherlands. When William landed in England in 1688 to take the throne, Anne on the influence of her close friend Sarah Churchill (1650–1744) the wife of John Churchill (1650–1722), supported her sister and brother-in-law against her father James. Churchill was created Duke of Marlborough by William when he was crowned King William III and her sister Queen Mary II. Anne detested her brother-in-law, and the Churchills' influence led her briefly during William’s reign to engage in Jacobite intrigues.

Mary died in 1694 and on William’s death in 1702 Anne succeeded to the throne as Queen Anne. When she was crowned in April 1702 Anne was 37 years old and after her many pregnancies had poor health and no longer her youthful figure. She was shy and stubborn and very different from her outgoing sister Mary. Anne and Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, remained close friends – Anne addressed Sarah as ‘Mrs Freeman’ and she called Anne ‘Mrs Morley’. Sarah’s husband the Duke of Marlborough commanded the English Army in the War of Spanish Succession, and won a series of victories over the French at Blenheim (1704), Ramillies (1706), Oudenarde (1708) and Malplaquet (1709). The influence of the Churchill’s however began to decline and after a violent quarrel in 1710, Sarah Churchill was dismissed from court. Abigail Masham succeeded the duchess as Anne's favourite, using her influence to further the Tories.

Towards the end of her life, Anne suffered from gout and she could hardly walk. On her death in 1714 her body had swollen so large that she was buried in an almost square coffin. On the question of succession, Anne's family loyalty had convinced her that this should fall to her father's son by his second wife (Mary of Modena), James Edward Stuart, known as the Old Pretender. However, the Act of Settlement in 1701 ensured Protestant succession to the throne, and Anne was succeeded by George I, great-grandson of James I.

Queen Anne's Signature

Timeline for Queen Anne

1702 Anne succeeds her brother-in-law, William III.
1702 England declares war on France in the War of the Spanish Succession
1704 English, Bavarian, and Austrian troops under Marlborough defeat the French at the Battle of Blenheim and save Austria from invasion.
1704 British capture Gibraltar from Spain.
1706 Marlborough defeats the French at the Battle of Ramillies, and expels the French from the Netherlands.
1707 The Act of Union unites the kingdoms of England and Scotland and transfers the seat of Scottish government to London.
1708 Marlborough defeats the French at the Battle of Oudenarde. .
1708 Anne vetoes a parliamentary bill to reorganize the Scottish militia, the last time a bill is vetoed by the sovereign.
1708 James Edward Stuart, 'The Old Pretender', arrives in Scotland in an unsuccessful attempt to gain the throne.
1709 Marlborough defeats the French at the Battle of Malplaquet.
1710 The Whig government falls and a Tory ministry is formed.
1710 St Paul's Cathedral, London, completed by Sir Christopher Wren
1711 First race meeting held at Ascot
1713 The Treaty of Utrecht is signed by Britain and France, bringing to an end the War of the Spanish Succession.
1714 Queen Anne dies at Kensington Palace.