‘She meant well and was not a fool; but nobody can maintain that she was wise, nor entertaining in conversation’ – Sarah Churchill
Anne Stuart was born February 6th, 1665 at 11: 39 P.M. in at St. James's Palace, London, as the fourth child and second daughter of James, Duke of York (later King James II) and his first wife, Anne Hyde. Anne was baptised into the Anglican faith at the Chapel Royal at St. James's. The Duke and Duchess of York had eight children, however, Anne and her older sister, Mary, were the only ones who survived into adulthood.
As was traditional in the royal family, Anne and her sister were brought up separated from their father in their own establishment at Richmond, London. Anne grew up in an atmosphere of controversy. Her father, James, the Duke of York, and both her mother, and later her stepmother, were Roman Catholic. Even though they would have prefered to raise Anne and Mary as Roman Catholics, on the instructions of Charles II (Anne's uncle), they were raised as Protestants. Nevertheless, prominant Protestants, such as Henry Compton (later Bishop of London) interceded and ensured the girls would not only be required to attend Protestant services, but that they also receive Protestant religious instruction.
As a child, Anne suffered from an eye condition, which manifested as excessive watering known as "defluxion". For medical treatment, she was sent to France, where she lived with her grandmother, Queen Dowager Henrietta Maria, at the Château de Colombes near Paris. Following her grandmother's death in 1669, Anne lived with an aunt, Henriette Anne, Duchess of Orleans. On the sudden death of her aunt in 1670, Anne returned to England. Her mother died the following year. Anne may have also suffered from the blood disease porphyria, in addition to having poor vision and a serious case of smallpox that occured when she was twelve. Poor health would plague Anne throughout her entire life.
Even though she was born into royalty, her education was similar to that of other aristocratic girls: languages and music. Although she would reign during a critically important period in her nation's history, her knowledge of history was limited and she received no instruction in civil law or military matters that most male monarchs were exprected to have.
Anne's life dramatically changed when the Lord Treasurer and Earl of Danty, in an attempt to strengthen his influence with King Charles II, arranged the marriage of Anne's sister, Mary, to William of Orange. Their father, the Duke of York, had wanted to wed Mary to the heir to the French throne, a Roman Catholic. The marriage between Mary and William of Orange strained the close relationship between Anne and Mary.
Marriage and PregnanciesEdit
On July 28, 1683 in the Chapel Royal, Anne married the Protestant Prince George of Denmark (1653-1708). Though it was an arranged marriage, the relationship between George and Anne was a close one and she loved him very deeply. However, their marriage was saddened by Anne's 12 miscarriages and the fact that none of their 5 children survived into adulthood (four children died before reaching age 2). Anne's final pregnancy ended on January 25, 1700, when she miscarried a stillborn son. Her husband did not affect Anne's position as he remained politically weak and inactive, suffering from a drinking problem. Prince George's influence in matters of state would remain small through out their marriage.
Accesstion of James IIEdit
When King Charles II died in 1685, Anne's father became King James II. His did not hide his Roman Catholicism and his desire to rule without Parliament's input. Parliament objected to James' policies but stopped short of rebellion. Members knew that James was an old man, and his successors were his Protestant daughters Mary and Anne, born to his first wife. However, in 1688, a son was born to James and his second wife, a Catholic. Now, the possibility of a Catholic monarchy loomed large. The fear of a Catholic successor caused Parliament to call on William of Orange and Mary to take the throne in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. This revolution created a constitutional, limited monarchy in England, where elected representatives, not a dynastic monarch, truly ruled. On the advice of the Churchill's, Anne supported the revolution and opposed her father. When Anne's sister and brother-in-law took the throne in 1689, it caused further tension between the siblings.
Anne became Queen upon the death of her brother-in-law on March 8, 1702, and was immediately popular. Anne was crowned Queen on April 23, 1702. altough she was not the brightest of monarchs , she spoke with a beautiful voice Afflicted with gout, she was carried to Westminster Abbey in an open sedan-chair with a low-back to permit her train to flow out behind her. On May 4th, England was embroiled in the War of the Spanish Succession, in which England, Austria and Holland fought against France and Spain. Charles II of Spain had died childless in 1700, and the succession was disputed by two claimants: the Hapsburg Archduke Charles of Austria and the Bourbon Philip, Duke of Anjou.
Due to many still-births and no children surviving into their teens as well as a failed friendship with her lady-inwaithing; Sarah Churchill. She became quite dependent on brandy and earnt the cruel nick-name of "Brandy Nan"
Act of UnionEdit
The Settlement Act of 1701 had angered Scotland, where the Stuart dynasty had orginated. The Scottish threatened to bring back James, Anne's Roman Catholic half-brother, to rule. To prevent a revolt, and unite support for the crown, Anne pushed for the Act of Union, which would united England and Scotland. The Act of Union was finally accepted on March 6, 1707. Under the Acts of Union, England and Scotland became one realm, a united kingdom called Great Britain on May 1, 1707.
In the last couple years of her life, Anne became very ill. She was often bed ridden and attended to by doctors. These doctors used many techniques to try to cure Anne, including bleeding her and applying hot irons. These crude methods probably did more harm than good. Anne was unable to walk between January and July 1713. She was rendered unable to speak after a stroke on June 30 1714. Anne finally died of a suppressed gout, ending in erysipelas, at around 7:30 A.M. on August 1, 1714. Anne was buried in an almost-square coffin next to her husband and children in the Henry VII chapel on the South Aisle of Westminster Abbey on August 24, 1714.
Even hundreds of years after her passing, Queen Anne's legacy lives on through many things and places. Annapolis, Maryland, United States, was given it's current name by Sir Francis Nicholson in honor of the then Princess Anne in 1694. Both a county and town have also been named after Queen Anne in Maryland as well. "The Queen Anne Style" refers to the architectural and furniture styles that were created during Queen Anne's reign. And of course, Queen Anne's name appears in the notorious English pirate Blackbird's flagship.