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A Look At Queen Anne, Britain's Most Overlooked Monarch At The Center Of 'The Favourite'

Updated 14 Jun 2019 39.9k views15 items

The Favourite (2018) emerged as a 2019 awards season darling largely on the strength of Olivia Colman's performance as a distressed, disheveled, and severely traumatized monarch who relies on some very committed ladies-in-waiting to help her cope. Was Queen Anne truly as incapable and afflicted as she appears in the Yorgos Lanthimos film?

Of all the British kings and queens, Anne is one of the most overlooked and underappreciated. Unlike some of her more flashy predecessors, she wasn't a commanding or fiery monarch, and a closer look at Queen Anne facts reveals a complex, painfully human ruler whose life was far more interesting than it initially appears.

Born on February 6, 1665, Anne wasn't supposed to be queen; she was the youngest daughter of the second son of a controversial king. Before she was born, the English monarchy temporarily ended when her grandfather King Charles I became a victim of regicide. When the monarchy was restored in 1660, it was her uncle King Charles II who assumed the throne, not her father.

A series of childless marriages, family tragedies, and political upheavals paved the way for Anne's ascension to the throne in 1702. The crown passed from her uncle, to her father King James II, to her sister Queen Mary, to her brother-in-law William III, before settling on her head. Though she was married to Prince George of Denmark, Anne remained a queen in her own right without a co-ruler until her passing in 1714. She was the very last monarch from the royal house of Stuart.

Though she ruled for just 12 years, her reign coincided with some of the most significant moments in British history. The court of Queen Anne is remembered for its political drama and cultural achievements. Against this backdrop was a quiet woman thrust into a queenly role through circumstances beyond her control.

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