Tuesday, 25 February 2014

The Future Queen Anne Stuart

Three of my novels set in the reign of Queen Anne have been published and I plan to write another one.

Sometimes, when I mention Queen Anne, people think I refer to Queen Anne Boleyn. In fact, I am referring to Queen Anne Stuart, so I decided to post about the future Queen of England who reigned from 1702 - 1714.
The Cinderella Princess


At the birth of the future Queen Anne, Sturart on the 6th February, 1665 neither her uncle, the second King Charles, nor her father, James, and heir, imagined she would become the last of the Stuart monarchs. After all, Charles’ seven bastards proved his virility, and there was every reason to believe he and his queen of three years would have legitimate heirs to the throne. However, in the unlikely event of their not producing one, his brother and sister-in-law, James and Anne, the Duke and Duchess of York, had produced an elder brother and sister for the latest addition to their nursery, Baby Anne.


In those days infant mortality was high. The son ‘Cinderella’s’ mother carried when she married only lived for six months. Fortunately, Anne and her older sister, Mary, survived the Great Plague, which broke out in the year of her birth. The little princesses grew up in their nursery but their brother James, another brother and two little sisters died. One can imagine the effects of these deaths on ‘Cinderella’, a small girl with poor health whose weak eyes watered constantly.


Doubtless, it was with the best of intentions that with the consent of ‘Cinderella’s’ uncle, the king, her parents sent the four year old to her grandmother, widow of the executed first Charles, who now lived in France.


A portrait of the Anne as a small girl painted by an unknown artist at the French Court depicts a  plump, adorable little girl, dressed in brocade and playing with a King Charles spaniel. Yet her eyes, set in an oval face with a mouth shaped in a perfect cupid’s bow, are wary.