Anne (February 6, 1665 – August 1, 1714) was Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland from 8 March 1702 to 1 May 1707. On 1 May 1707, under the Acts of Union, the kingdoms of England and Scotland united as a single sovereign state known as Great Britain. She continued to reign as Queen of Great Britain and Ireland until her death in 1714.
Anne was born at 11:39 p.m. on February 6, 1665 at St James’s Palace, London, the fourth child and second daughter of the Duke of York (afterwards King James II – VII), and his first wife, Anne Hyde.
Anne’s father was the younger brother of King Charles II, who ruled the three kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland, and her mother was the daughter of Lord Chancellor Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon. The Duke and Duchess of York had eight children, but Anne and Mary were the only ones to survive 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. On the instructions of Charles II, they were raised as Protestants, despite their father being a Catholic.
Around 1671, Anne first made the acquaintance of Sarah Jennings, who later became her close friend and one of her most influential advisors. Jennings married John Churchill (the future Duke of Marlborough) in about 1678. His sister, Arabella Churchill, was the Duke of York’s mistress, and he was to be Anne’s most important general.
Princess Anne’s mother, Anne Hyde the Duchess of York, was ill for 15 months after the birth of her youngest son, Edgar. She bore Henrietta in 1669 and Catherine in 1671. Anne never recovered from Catherine’s birth. Ill with breast cancer, she died on 31 March 31, 1671.
In 1673, the Duke of York’s conversion to Catholicism became public, and he married a Catholic princess, Mary of Modena, who was only six and a half years older than Anne.
Charles II had no legitimate children, and so the Duke of York was next in the line of succession, followed by his two surviving daughters from his first marriage, Mary and Anne—as long as he had no son.
Over the next ten years, the new Duchess of York had ten children, but all were either stillborn or died in infancy, leaving Mary and Anne second and third in the line of succession after their father. There is every indication that, throughout Anne’s early life, she and her stepmother got on well together, and the Duke of York was a conscientious and loving father.