Some kings and queens live an enviable life on Easy Street. For others, things are a bit more difficult. One such monarch was Anne, Queen of Great Britain. As History Extra notes, she was the last monarch in the House of Stuart, and is remembered for bringing Scotland and England together as the sovereign state known as Great Britain. She also brought an end to the 13-year conflict known as the War of the Spanish Succession, which began after the death of Charles II of Spain, who had no children.
Anne was born on February 6, 1665, and assumed the English throne in 1702, after the death of her brother-in-law King William III. She reigned until her death in August 1714. She had lived a life of difficulty and heartbreak, especially after the death of her husband George in 1708. One of the doctors who had attended her wrote after her death: “Sleep was never more welcome to a weary traveler than death was to her.” And after hearing about the trouble she had trying to become a mother, one can understand exactly what he meant.
None of Queen Anne's children lived to adulthood
Queen Anne may have been the last of the House of Stuart, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. According to Historic UK, she was not a very healthy queen. She became pregnant 17 times, but the vast majority of those never came to term. She had at least a dozen miscarriages, and only one of the few live births she had was successful. Still, this one didn’t even make it to adulthood. William, who was dubbed Duke of Gloucester, died from what is believed to have been hydrocephalus, or, an accumulation of fluid in the brain, at the age of 11.
What caused so many unsuccessful pregnancies? According to Royal Central, many historians believe that Queen Anne suffered from an immune disorder known as antiphospholipid syndrome, as a result of which the body basically becomes its own worst enemy. She also suffered from a terrible case of gout, which forced her to be carried to her own coronation. These health conditions, in tragic combination with the excessive drinking of her husband, are what most likely caused Queen Anne’s pregnancy problems.
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