Mary was the eldest daughter of James, Duke of York (who succeeded as James II in 1685) and his first wife Anne Hyde (1637-1671). She was born at St James’s Palace on 30 April 1662 and was married, aged 15, to William, Prince of Orange. For many years they lived in Holland but when the Catholic James II had a son the English authorities called on William to come to England to safeguard the Protestant succession and rule jointly with Mary. Before William reached London James had fled to France and William III and Mary II were crowned as joint monarchs in the Abbey on 11 April 1689. The king was crowned in the ancient Coronation Chair but a new chair had to be made for Mary’s use and this is now in the Abbey Museum. She had no children and died of smallpox on 28 December 1694. Her magnificent funeral on 5 March 1695 cost £50,000. She lies buried in a vault in the south aisle of Henry VII’s chapel, not far from her mother Anne. A monument to her memory was designed but never erected. In 1725 the Abbey acquired life-size wax effigies of the two monarchs and these can be seen in the Museum. Mary was larger and taller (5 feet 11 inches) than her husband (5 feet 6½ inches) and his effigy stands on a cushion beside hers.
In 1689 Mary (James II's daughter) and her cousin and husband William of Orange jointly succeeded to the throne. For the first time the country had both a King and a Queen (neither were consorts) and their joint coronation was held in Westminster Abbey in April 1689.
William used the original Coronation Chair whilst Mary used a specially made replica for her investiture and crowning. During the investiture, however, their Coronation Rings were mixed up and Mary's ruby ring was mistakenly placed on William's finger.
Photographs of the effigies can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library.