Anne, Queen of Great Britain

Anne, the daughter of James II of Great Britain and Anne Hyde, was born in St James's Palace, London, February 6 1665.
She married George, Duke of Cumberland, son of Frederik III of Denmark and Sophie Amalia of Brunswick-Luneburg, July 28 1683 in the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace.


Left: St James's Palace, London. Right: Queen Anne

Princess Anne and her sister Mary were the only children of James II and his first wife, Anne Hyde, to survive infancy. Anne was brought up a Protestant and remained with that faith despite her father's conversion to Catholicism.

In 1683 Princess Anne married Prince George of Denmark. She was 18 and he 30. They proved to be well suited but the marriage was marred by stillbirths and early deaths of their children. The longest surviving, William, Duke of Gloucester, died at his eleventh birthday party.

During this difficult time, Princess Anne made an intimate friend of Sarah Jennings, a childhood friend whose husband, John Churchill, later Duke of Marlborough, had influenced Anne into accepting her sister, Mary and William III as successors to her father.

In 1701, after the Duke of Gloucester died, it became obvious that an arrangement was required to manage succession. Parliament passed the Act of Settlement which decreed that in the event William III or Princess Anne not having issue, the British crown would pass to Sophia, Electress of Hanover, granddaughter of James I. This ruled out the possibility of a Catholic succeeding to the British throne and barred James, Prince of Wales, and other descendants of James II by his second wife, Maria of Modena.

In 1702 when her brother-in-law, William III died, Anne succeeded as Queen of Britain and reigned for more than twelve years. It proved to be a period of achievement, notably in the defeat of the French in the War of Spanish Succession. In 1704 John Churchill, who commanded the British troops, became a national hero after the Battle of Blenheim. He was rewarded with the manor of Woodstock and the building of Blenheim Palace - a suitable home for the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough. The friendship between Queen Anne and the Duchess ended in 1710.

Queen Anne died August 1 1714 at Kensington Palace, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. She was succeeded to British throne by George I.

The Duke of Cumberland died October 28 1708 at Kensington Palace.