Samantha is an avid historian and writer and joins us today with a post on Anne Stuart, Queen of Great Britain. You can follow her on her Facebook page Today in Dead Royalty and on Twitter.
Born in 1665, Anne did not look the part of the usual Stuarts. She would grow up to be short and stout, unlike her tall and beautiful relatives. However, she would make just as much of an impact on history as the lot of them.
Anne was the younger daughter of James Stuart, Duke of York, and his first wife, Anne Hyde. She would grow up with an elder sister Mary, with whom she shared a household. The sisters would be educated by private tutors, with heavy instruction in the tenets of the Anglican faith. Anne’s piety would stick with her until the day she died…
On April 30th, 1662 a girl is born to James Stuart, Duke of York and his wife Anne Hyde. She would be christened Mary and would resemble her Stuart relatives. She grew tall with dark curly hair and was intelligent and kind. At age three, she was joined by a sister Anne, and these two sisters would make history.
While Mary was still quite young, her parents converted to Roman Catholicism. But at the command of her uncle King Charles II, both Mary and Anne were raised in the Anglican faith. Tragedy struck for the girls in 1671 when their mother Anne died at age 34, most likely from cancer. Two years later, Mary…
As Anne and George settled down to married life together, it soon became apparent that they were remarkably compatible together. With the sole exception of the Duchess of Marlborough, everyone agreed that they were an exceptionally devoted couple. Twenty-five years later it was said at George’s funeral, ‘Never did a happier pair come together.’ Anne was described as ‘an extraordinarily tender and affectionate wife’ while George ‘lived in all respects the happiest with his princess that was possible.’ George was so notable for his marital fidelity, ‘a virtue…not often to be found in courts in these degenerate and licentious ages,’ that it was said that envy itself would ‘bear witness to the chastity and entire love of this most happy pair.’ He and Anne had an admirable ‘conformity of humour, preferring privacy and retired life to high society and grand entertainments.’ They were both (as Anne herself put it) ‘poor in words,’ but with each other they were completely at ease. At a time when some aristocratic husbands and wives led virtually separate existences Anne and George were unusual for their companionable way of life. One observer noted, ‘The Prince and she used to spend extraordinary much time together in conversation daily, scarce any occurrent can cause an intermission.’
“Queen Anne: The Politics of Passion” (2012), Anne Somerset