Mary II of England

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Mary II (30 April 1662 – 28 December 1694) was Queen regnant of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1689 until her death. Mary, a Protestant, came to the thrones following the Glorious Revolution, which resulted in the deposition of her Roman Catholic father, James II and VII. Mary reigned jointly with her husband and first cousin, William III and II, who became sole ruler upon her death in 1694. Popular histories usually refer to the joint reigns as those of "William and Mary".

Mary wielded less power than William during the parts of her reign when William remained in England, ceding most of her authority to her husband, though he heavily relied on her. She did, however, govern the realms alone when William was engaged in military campaigns abroad, proving herself to be a powerful, firm, and effective ruler. She was very active in the Church of England, which she ruled as its Supreme Governor. Though she shared the post with her husband, she largely exercised its power alone.


Early life

Mary, born at St. James's Palace in London on 30 April 1662, was the eldest daughter of James, Duke of York (the future James II & VII), and his first wife, Lady Anne Hyde. Mary's uncle was King Charles II, who ruled the three kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland; her maternal grandfather, Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon, served for a lengthy period as Charles's chief advisor. She was baptised into the Anglican faith in the Chapel Royal at St. James's, and was named after her ancestress, Mary, Queen of Scots. Her godparents included her father's cousin, Prince Rupert of the Rhine.[1] Although her mother bore eight children, all except Mary and her younger sister Anne died very young, and the King had no legitimate children. Consequently, for most of her childhood, Mary was second in line to the throne after her father.[2]

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