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Queen Anne

Queen Anne, second daughter of King James II by his first wife Lady Anne Hyde (1637-1671), was born at St James's Palace in London on 6th February 1665. Her sister Mary and her husband William of Orange ascended the throne (as Mary II and William III) when the Catholic James II fled the country and abdicated. Her reign is remembered for the Union of England with Scotland in 1707, and the Duke of Marlborough's victories in Europe, as well as for the establishment of the General Post Office, the first daily newspaper and Queen Anne's Bounty, a fund set up to aid poor clergymen.

Marriage

She married Prince George of Denmark (1653-1708), youngest son of Frederick III, King of Denmark, at Whitehall on 28th July 1683. Only five of their eighteen children were born alive and none reached maturity.

Coronation

As Mary and William had no children Anne then succeeded to the throne on William III's death and was crowned in the Abbey on 23rd April 1702. She was suffering from gout (being fond of brandy) and had to be carried into the Church by Yeomen of the Guard on an open chair as she was unable to walk.

Burial

She died at Kensington Palace on 1st August 1714 and was buried on 24 August next to her husband in the Stuart vault, under the floor at the east end of the south aisle of Henry VII's chapel. Some burial sentences set by William Croft were sung. Hers is the earliest royal funeral for which a topical anthem is known - again by Croft The Souls of the Righteous.

Her mother Anne lies in a vault nearby, as does her son William, Duke of Gloucester (d.1700) and many of her infant and stillborn children. There was no room in the chapel to erect a monument to her. Only a small stone marks her grave.

Wax Effigy

A seated wax effigy of the Queen was purchased by the Abbey for display. It can now be seen in the new Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries.

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004

Queen Anne by Edward Gregg, 1980

The funeral effigies of Westminster Abbey by A. Harvey and R. Mortimer, 2003 revised edition

British Royal and State funerals.... by M. Range, 2016

The ceremonial for the interment is Westminster Abbey Muniment 6475*.

Born

6th February 1665

Died

1st August 1714

Buried

24th August 1714

Coronation

23rd April 1702

Funeral

24th August 1714

Location

Lady Chapel

Memorial Type

Vault

Queen Anne
Portrait of Queen Anne of England, in a tinted engraving from an atlas commissioned by Augustus the Strong (Duke of Saxony), 1706-1710

[Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons

Queen Anne
Queen Anne wax effigy

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2018 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

The work can be tough, but even the cold and rain don’t bother me as I enjoy it so much. I love every day that I spend at the Abbey – just being here makes me smile.

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Tim - Gardener

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