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Stuarts

Anne, Queen of Great Britain (1665-1714)

Queen Anne was the last monarch of the Stuart dynasty. The second daughter of James II and Anne Hyde, she was the younger sister of Mary II. In 1683 she married Prince George of Denmark (died 1708). After the Act of Union in 1707 she became the first sovereign of Great Britain (rather than England and Scotland). Anne had many children but tragically none of them survived to adulthood.

Anne continued to patronise Godfrey Kneller in portrait painting, notably in commissioning a series of portraits of naval commanders and admirals, now in the National Maritime Museum. However she also introduced and possibly preferred the works of the Swedish portrait painter, Michael Dahl. Dahl painted the equestrian portrait of Prince George, Anne's husband.

In 1710 Queen Anne purchased a series of paintings of exotic birds and animals by the Hungarian artist, Jakob Bogdani. These works had belonged to the deputy ranger of the Windsor Great Park, George Churchill, who had built an aviary in the grounds. Anne may also have purchased Churchill's View of Windsor Castle by Jan Griffier the Elder. Churchill's sister-in-law, Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, was a close companion to Anne and Sarah's husband, the Duke of Marlborough was one of the greatest military heroes of Anne's reign.

In London, Kensington was Queen Anne's favoured residence and Hawksmoor’s Orangery was designed for her. She commissioned Henry Wise to lay out formal gardens at Hampton Court and at Windsor, and to transform the gardens at Kensington. Queen Anne may have acquired several floral still life paintings in the Royal Collection, further attesting to her interest in nature. She loved hunting and horse racing and inaugurated the racecourse at Ascot.

Although Anne's artistic patronage was not as considerable as some of her predecessors, she was keenly interested in music, poetry and theatre and a great patron of those. Her reign was one of harmony with both church and state, as exemplified in the ordered depiction of parliament by Tillemans.

Reigned: 1702–14

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