Born: 6 February 1665
Died: 1 August 1714
Birthplace: London, England
Best known as: Queen of England, 1702-1714
Queen Anne was the queen of England, Scotland and Ireland during the War of Spanish Succession (1702-14), an era that lay the foundation for Britain's colonial power in the 18th century. The second daughter of James II, Anne supported the overthrow of her father by her sister Mary and brother-in-law William of Orange in 1688 (the "Glorious Revolution"). Protestant-raised Mary and Anne were glad to see their Catholic father flee to France, and then William and Mary reigned jointly by an act of Parliament. Mary died in 1694, and William died in 1702, leaving Anne to take the throne at the age of 37. Anne, married to Prince George of Denmark since 1683, was in ill-health, brought on by a lifelong overindulgence in food and drink and worsened by 17 or 18 ill-fated pregnancies (only one of her children lived past infancy, and he died at the age of 12). She left much of the ruling business to able ministers, especially John Churchill, the Duke of Marlborough, and his wife Sarah, who had been Anne's confidante and advisor since childhood. During Anne's reign England grew in military strength, England made Scotland part of Great Britain (1707), the monarchy became constitutional and Britain's two-party political system took form. She died without an heir, the last monarch of the House of Stuart. She was succeeded by the Hanoverian George I.
Extra credit: The Spanish War of Succession began just before Anne took the throne, under James II... Her reputed fondness for liquor earned her the nickname "Brandy Nan"... Her relationship with Sarah Churchill, the Duchess of Marlborough, was close but contentious; in 1710 or 1711 they had a falling out that ended their 40-year association... The fighting in North America during the Spanish War of Succession was called Queen Anne's War.
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