Greetings from iainthepict. This blog of mine is meant to be like a 'Book of Days' or a kind of 'Scottish Year Book' if you will. The idea was to present an event for each day of the year. Somewhere in here, you can find out what happened, affecting Scotland and the Scots, on any given day of the year. Your comments and observations are very welcome.
The photograph is by Sam Perkins (check him out on Facebook at Sam Perkins Photography) and was taken near Oban.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

The marriage of Queen Anne Stuart

Queen Anne Stuart married Prince George of Denmark on the 28th of July, 1683.

Anne Stuart was the second daughter of the Catholic King James VII & II, but was raised a Protestant under the guidance of her uncle, King Charles II & II. She became Queen Regnant of England, Scotland and Ireland on the 8th of March, 1702, after her brother-in-law and cousin, William of Orange, died. Of course, the brightly hued William only became King after Anne’s father was deemed by the English Parliament to have abdicated when he was forced to retreat to France during the so called ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1688. The futile Jacobite Rising of 1689 failed to alter matters and William III & II and his wife, Anne’s sister, Mary II & I, ruled as joint Monarch until Mary’s death from smallpox, in 1694. After that, William ruled on his own-ie-o until his own demise. In case you’re wondering, A Queen Regnant is a female Monarch who reigns in her own right, in contrast to a ‘Queen Consort’, the wife of reigning King.

On the 28th of July, 1683, at St. James’s Palace, London, Anne married the Protestant Prince George of Denmark and Norway, brother of King Christian V of Denmark and her second cousin once removed through Frederick II. George, as he was called in England, was born Prince Jørgen, in Copenhagen, on the 2nd of April, 1653. He was the third son and sixth child of Frederick III of Denmark and Sophie Amalie of Brunswick-Lüneburg. After the marriage, George became an English subject and a Knight of the Garter. He was also created Duke of Cumberland, Earl of Kendal and Baron Wokingham.

Way back in 1674, Jørgen was a candidate for the Polish throne in the times when the Nobles and Senate elected the next King. However, as he was brought up a strict Lutheran, accepting the Polish throne would have meant him converting to become a Catholic. So he was considered a suitable partner for Anne, because he was a Protestant. Anne’s uncle, Charles II & II, had decided that Anne would marry George and his brother, and her father, James, Duke of York, who was to become James VII & II, agreed.

Anne’s brother-in-law, William of Orange, wasn’t too happy with the arrangement, primarily because, prior to William’s becoming King William III & II, George outranked him in European Royal Family terms. The great and the good should really be above such petty jealousies, don’t you think? Whether or not it was significant, George didn’t play a senior role in Government until Anne succeeded William in 1702. It seems Charles II & II developed a sense of humour out of all his changing fortunes, for after the wedding, he famously said of George, “I have tried him drunk and I have tried him sober, and there is nothing in him.” So George must’ve been a bit of a pastry.

When Mary II & I died, Anne became heir apparent to William III & II. That was because they were childless and any children he might have by another wife would be lower down in line of succession. In addition, she was the only individual remaining in the line of succession that satisfied the conditions established by the English Bill of Rights of December, 1689, governing the succession to the Throne. According to her father, the deposed James VII & II, Anne asked him if it’d be OK for her to take the crown on William’s death and, more cunningly, and also according to James, she promised its restoration at a convenient opportunity. Of course, that never happened, nor did the rumour that William was going to nominate James’ son, James Francis Edward Stuart (the ‘Old Pretender’), as his heir, on condition he was brought up as a Protestant, further develop. Of course, if anything were to happen to Anne or she were to have no heirs after becoming Queen, then there would have been another wee opening for James VII & I or his son to claim the Throne.

To reinforce the exclusion of James VII & II and his catholic descendants, the English Parliament unilaterally enacted the Act of Settlement of 1701. That Act ensured, if neither Anne, on becoming Queen, nor William III & II, by any future marriage, had offspring, the Crown would go to Sophia, Electress of Hanover, and her descendants. That line was descended from James VI & I through Elizabeth Stuart, Electress Palatine and Queen of Bohemia, who was his eldest daughter, born Elizabeth of Scotland and mother of Sophia. Of course, the English Parliament never asked its Scottish neighbour for its opinion as usual. So James VII & II and dozens of genealogically senior claimants to the Thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland were excluded by virtue of their being Catholics. Of course, Anne never had a problem with any of that and, when William III & II died on the 8th of March, 1702, she was crowned Anne I & I the following month, on the 23rd of April.

One particular act of major significance occurred during Anne’s reign. That was the Act or Acts of Union, in which England and Scotland were united as a single sovereign state, the Kingdom of Great Britain. Anne became the first sovereign of Great Britain, whilst still holding a separate crown as of Queen of Ireland and the title of Queen of France. Anne was, therefore, both the last Queen of England and the last Queen of Scots. That all resulted from a bit of tit-for-tat maneuvering around the succession both before and during Anne’s reign.

In response to the English Bill of Rights, Scotland passed the Act of Security, which left the way open for James’ direct line to return. In response, the English passed legislation known as the Alien Act of 1705, which placed the threat of economic sanctions on the Scots unless they closed that loophole. The outcome was the aforementioned Acts of Union, which were approved by the Commissioners on the 22nd of July, 1706, agreed to by an Act of the Scottish Parliament of the 16th of January, 1707, an act of the English Parliament of the 6th of March, and enacted on the 1st of May, 1707.

The end result of all that planning for Anne’s succession was the inheritance of the Throne of Great Britain by her second cousin, George, Elector of Hannover and son of the Electress Sophia, who became George I in August, 1714. That was because, when Anne died without an heir, despite eighteen pregnancies, on the 1st of August, 1714, Sophia had predeceased her by a few months. George I was shown to a cosy seat in Windsor Castle and Anne became the last Monarch of the House of Stewart and Stuart, Royalty at Bay.

No comments:

Post a Comment