William, Mary and Anne can be viewed as a mini dynasty of their own at the end of the Stuart line and after the Glorious Revolution. Queen Mary II and Queen Anne were sisters, daughters of the deposed King James II & VII. William III & II was not only Mary's husband but also her first cousin and came directly after the two sisters in the Protestant succession to the Throne anyway. After the Glorious Revolution, William and Mary would rule jointly. When Mary died first, William reigned alone until Anne succeeded him. Anne died without any surviving heirs and so the Stuart Dynasty came to an end. Their Protestant Hanoverian cousins then succeeded.
Monarchs of the Stuart Dynasty often have two regnal numbers. For instance, King William was III and II. Mary was II and I. This is because there had been differing amounts of monarchs by those names in the two separate countries. Mary and Anne's Father was James II and VII. His Grandfather had been James I (of England) and VI (of Scotland). There had been no previous King Charles or Queen Anne in either country, so they started from scratch.
Although, technically, this situation should have cropped up again with King William IV and the Monarchs from and including King Edward VII, the country/countries had entered into the union of the United Kingdom by then. Sowem would argue that they were using their English regnal number with disregard to Scotland, however, by chance, these monarchs already held the highest regnal numbers of their respective names. And thereby lies the resolution of the situation when the matter did arise.
The issue arose again when the current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II came to the Throne in 1952. Scotland had never before had a reigning Queen Elizabet as the previous queen of that name had been queen of England only. Objections were raised as to the use of the royal cypher EIIR anywhere in Scotland, resulting in several violent incidents, including the destruction of one of the first new EIIR pillar boxes in Scotland, at Leith in late 1952. Since then, the cipher used in Scotland on all government and Crown property and street furniture has carried no lettering, but simply the Crown of Scotland from the Honours of Scotland. A court case in 1953, contesting the style "Elizabeth II" within Scotland, MacCormick v Lord Advocate, was thrown out on the grounds that the numbering of monarchs was part of the royal prerogative.
It was suggested by Winston Churchill that, in the future, the higher of the two numerals from the English and Scottish sequences would always be used. So, theoretically, any future British King Edward would be given the number IX, even though there have only been two (or three) previous Edwards in Scotland, but any future King Alexander would be given the number IV, even though he would be the first Alexander to reign in England.
William and Mary
Mary II (30th April 1662 – 28th December 1694) was Queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland, co-reigning with her husband, King William III & II, from 1689 until her death. She was the eldest daughter of the Duke of York (the future King James II & VII) and his first wife, Anne Hyde.
Although their father was Roman Catholic, Mary and her younger sister Anne were raised as Anglicans at the wishes of their uncle, King Charles II. Charles lacked legitimate children, making Mary second in the line of succession. She married her Protestant first cousin, William of Orange, in 1677. Mary's father was the brother of William's Mother, Mary, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange. Charles died in 1685 and James came to the throne, making Mary Heiress Presumptive. James's attempts at rule by decree and the birth of his son, James Francis Edward Stuart who was brought up Catholic, led to his deposition in the Glorious Revolution and the adoption of the English Bill of Rights.
William and Mary became King and Queen regnant. Though William relied heavily on Mary, she wielded less power than William and, when he was in England, ceded most of her authority to him. She did, however, act alone when William was engaged in military campaigns abroad, proving herself to be a powerful, firm and effective ruler. Mary's death left William as sole ruler until his own death in 1702, when he was succeeded by Mary's sister, Anne.
William and Mary's Coat of Arms before they became Joint Sovereigns naturally show William's Arms as Prince of Orange from birth and Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders and Overijssel in the Dutch Republic marshalling Mary's British Arms.
Before her marriage, Mary bore her Father's Arms on a Lozenge with Supporters and a plain Coronet above. James, as Duke of York, had been assigned a Label of three Points ermine but, as Heir Presumptive to his childless (legitimate anyway) brother, King Charles II, was in the habit, especially in Scotland, of displaying the plain white Label of an Heir Apparent, though with no official sanction.
Mary was in the habit of following her Father's line or, in fact, of dropping the Label all together. As Princess of Orange she also displayed her marital Arms on two separate Shields.
- William and mary were first cousins
- The Coat of Arms of Great Britain/United Kingdom are basically the same for the Royal Family as well as the country itself and are therefore territorial. William III's Arms cannot really be considered as dynastic because he remained a member of the House of Stuart and, as we have seen with the House of Hanover, the Arms themselves are also territorial.
William was the only child of William II, Prince of Orange, who died a week before his birth, and Mary, Princess of Orange, the daughter of King Charles I. A Protestant, William participated in several wars against the powerful Catholic King Louis XIV of France, in coalition with Protestant and Catholic powers in Europe. Many Protestants heralded him as a champion of their faith. In 1685, his Catholic uncle and father-in-law, James, became King. James's reign was unpopular with the Protestant majority in Britain, who feared a revival of Catholicism. Supported by a group of influential British political and religious leaders, William invaded England in what became known as the Glorious Revolution. In 1688, he landed at the south-western English port of Brixham and, shortly afterwards, James was deposed.
William's reputation as a staunch Protestant enabled him and his wife to take power. During the early years of his reign, he was occupied abroad with the Nine Years' War (1688–97). Queen Mary II died in 1694. In 1696, the Jacobites plotted unsuccessfully to assassinate William and return his father-in-law to the throne. William's lack of children and the death in 1700 of his sister-in-law Anne's last surviving child Prince William, Duke of Gloucester, threatened the Protestant succession. The danger was averted by placing distant relatives, the Protestant Hanoverians, in line. Upon his death in 1702, the king was succeeded in Britain by Anne and as titular Prince of Orange by his cousin, John William Friso.
As Prince of Orange, William's Arms were:
Quarterly, I Azure billetty a Lion rampant Or (for Nassau); II Or a Lion rampant guardant Gules crowned Azure (Katzenelnbogen); III Gules a Fess Argent (Vianden), IV Gules two Lions passant guardant Or, armed and langued azure (Dietz); between the I and II Quarters an Inescutcheon, Sable a Fess argent (Flushing); at the fess point an Inescutcheon, quarterly I and IV Gules, a Bend Or (Châlons); II and III Or a Bugle Hunting Horn Azure, stringed Gules (Orange) with an inescutcheon, Nine Pieces Or and Azure (Geneva); between the III and IV Quarters, an Inescutcheon, Gules a Fess counter embattled Argent (Buren).
Anne was born in the reign of Charles II to his younger brother and heir presumptive, James, whose suspected Roman Catholicism was unpopular in England as we have seen. Anne married Prince George of Denmark in 1683. Although the sisters had been close, disagreements over Anne's finances, status and choice of acquaintances arose shortly after Mary's accession and they became estranged. William and Mary had no children. After Mary's death in 1694, William reigned alone until his own death in 1702, when Anne succeeded him.
During her reign, Anne favoured moderate Tory politicians, who were more likely to share her Anglican religious views than their opponents, the Whigs. The Whigs grew more powerful during the course of the War of the Spanish Succession, until 1710 when Anne dismissed many of them from office. Her close friendship with Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, turned sour as the result of political differences. The Duchess took revenge with an unflattering description of the Queen in her memoirs, which was widely accepted by historians until Anne was re-assessed in the late 20th century.
Anne was plagued by ill health throughout her life and, from her thirties, she grew increasingly ill and obese. Anne's sole surviving child, the Duke of Gloucester, died at the age of eleven on 30th July 1700, six months after Anne's final pregnancy ended with a still birth. She and her husband were "overwhelmed with grief". With William childless and Gloucester dead, Anne was the only individual remaining in the line of succession established by the Bill of Rights 1689. To address the succession crisis and preclude a Catholic restoration, the Parliament of England enacted the Act of Settlement 1701, which provided that, failing the issue of Anne and of William III by any future marriage, the Crown of England and Ireland would go to Sophia, Electress of Hanover, and her Protestant descendants. Sophia was the granddaughter of James VI and I through his daughter Elizabeth, who was the sister of Anne's grandfather Charles I. Over fifty Catholics with stronger claims were excluded from the line of succession. English pressure on Scotland to accept the Act of Settlement was one factor leading to the parliamentary union of the two countries in 1707.
Sophie died before Anne, however, and so it fell to Sophie's eldest son, George Louis, to succeed to the Throne when Anne passed away in 17014.
Although, in this day and age it seems rather strange to talk about it, but Anne was a supporter of union between England and Scotland. Scotland was keen to pursue its own interests as far as the Succession to the Throne was concerned and wanted to make its own choice and insisted at one stage on choosing someone else to heir to the Throne of England. With various acts flinging back and forth between the two parliaments, Anne set up a board of commissioners in 1706 to negotiate terms, which were ratified by the Scottish and English Parliaments on 16th January and 6th March 1707, respectively. Under the Acts of Union, England and Scotland were united into a single kingdom called Great Britain, with one parliament, on 1st May 1707.
Heraldically, this was represented by the 'union' of the Arms of England with Scotland. (I can find no reference to this being a requirement of the Acts, by the way.)
There would also be a new Royal Badge and Flag.
With the Acts of Union the Shield was rearranged as shown above. Ireland's Harp remained in the third Quarter. France's Fleurs-de-Lys were 'relegated' to the second Quarter. England and Scotland were joined, or conjoined, in a special way.
The basic combining of two Coats of Arms is called Marshalling. Here, England and Scotland both occupy the first and the fourth Quarters. If you look carefully, though, something else occured. Impalement is one form of Marshalling and simply combines two full Coats of Arms sitting side-by-side. However, there is a throwback to the times of what is called Dimidiation where any Bordure, Tressure or Orle (in other words, any Charge which goes round the Shield) dissolves into the line of the Impalement. Here, the left-hand side of the famous red Double Tressure flory-counter-flory of Scotland disappears into the dividing line. This was meant to represent the close union of 'Great Britain'.
All other aspects of Anne's and therefore Great Britain's Coat of Arms remained the same. Semper Eadem...
Prince George of Denmark, Duke of Cumberland
Prince George of Denmark and Norway (2nd April 1653 – 28th October 1708), was Anne's husband. His original name in Denmark was Jørgen.
His marriage to Anne was arranged in the early 1680s with a view to developing an Anglo-Danish alliance to contain Dutch maritime power. As a result, George was unpopular with his Dutch brother-in-law, William III.
George sided with his father-in-law at first. But when William invaded England in November 1688 and King James's troops started to swap over to William's side, George abandoned James and sided with William. William excluded George from active military service and neither George nor Anne wielded any great influence. However, William assented to a bill naturalising George as an English subject in early April 1689. George was created Duke of Cumberland, Earl of Kendal and Baron of Okingham (Wokingham) by the new monarchs.
During Anne's reign, George occasionally used his influence in support of his wife, even when privately disagreeing with her views. He had an easy-going manner and little interest in politics; his appointment as Lord High Admiral in 1702 was largely honorary.
Anne's seventeen pregnancies by George resulted in twelve miscarriages or stillbirths, four infant deaths, and a chronically sick son, William, who died at the age of eleven. Despite the history of their children, George and Anne's marriage was a strong one. George died aged 55 from a recurring and chronic lung disease, much to the devastation of his wife, and he was buried in Westminster Abbey.
We have previously explored George's Coat of Arms in two previous Blogs - Royal Crests - Denmark and UPDATE: Royal Crest - Denmark.
The Shield shown here represents Anne's Arms as Princess of Denmark and Norway. As her sister Mary often did, Anne dropped her Father's Label and marshalled the plain Royal Arms with her husband's. This is unfortunate as the Label assigned to James as Duke of York was of three Points ermine, exactly the same as George! This would have lent a certain symmetry to Anne's marital Arms before succeeding to the Throne.
It is possibly not a coincidence that George was assigned this Label at all. There is no record of the Label being assigned in Denmark (i.e. before his marriage) as there was, and still is, no history of assigning Labels as marks of cadency within the Danish Royal Family or Scandinavian heraldry as a whole. The Chapter of the Royal Danish Orders of Knighthood is of the opinion, therefore, that the Label, if not the whole Coat of Arms, was a British Grant.
Prince William, Duke of Gloucester
Anne was estranged from her brother-in-law/cousin and her sister, the Joint Monarchs, but supported links between them and her son. He grew close to his uncle, who created him a Knight of the Garter, and his aunt Mary, who frequently sent him presents. At his nursery in Campden House, Kensington, he befriended his Welsh body-servant, Jenkin Lewis, whose memoir of the Duke is an important source for historians, and operated his own miniature army, called the "Horse Guards", which eventually comprised 90 boys.
Gloucester's precarious health was a constant source of worry. He suffered from hydrocephalus and had an enlarged head. His death in 1700 at the age of 11 from precipitated a succession crisis as his mother was not only the sole remaining individual in the Protestant line of succession established by the Bill of Rights 1689, what would be her last pregnancy six months earlier had resulted in yet another stillborn child. The English Parliament did not want the throne to revert to a Catholic and so enacted the Act of Settlement 1701, which settled the throne of England on Electress Sophia of Hanover, a cousin of King James II, and her Protestant heirs. As seen above the repercussions on the Acts of Union, the Scottish Parliament at this stage wanted to choose its own successor and therefore did not ratify the Act of Settlement until the Union. Sophia's son George Louis succeeded to the British Throne as the first Monarch of the House of Hanover after Sophia predeceased Anne.
William's Coat of Arms is recorded on his Garter Stallplate. Although the grandchild of a monarch and the nephew of two others during his lifetime, he was assigned the three-pointed Label of a son of the Heir Apparent. Had he seen his Mother succeed to the Throne he would almost certainly have been created Prince of Wales and have beeen assigned a plain Label. However, he was assigned a St George's Cross to his Label as King Richard II had received being the grandson of his predecessor, King Edward III. His Arms also carried an Inescutcheon of the usual simplified version of the Danish Arms from his Father, being still a very patriarchal society despite both his Mother and Aunt being queens regnant.
The Blason was and still is for Denmark:
Or, three Lions passant in pale azure crowned and armed Or langued gules, nine Hearts gules