Search Britroyals by name, year or event

Front Page

Book Shop

Kings & Queens


Family Trees

Royal Family

House of Windsor

Line of Succession

Frequently asked Questions



Coat of Arms

Great Britain

House of Stuart - Queen Mary II

<< House of Tudor


House of Hanover >>

Family Tree poster and books      House of Stuart Family Tree      Scottish Stewart Family Tree      All Kings & Queens      
Queen Mary II
Name: Queen Mary II
Full Name: Mary Stuart
Father: James II
Mother: Anne Hyde
Born: April 30, 1662 at St James Palace, London
Ascended to the throne: February 13, 1689 aged 26 years
Crowned: April 11, 1689 at Westminster Abbey, when William was 38 and Mary was 26
Married: William son of William II of Orange, on November 4, 1677
Children: Three stillborn
Died: December 28, 1694 at Kensington Palace, aged 32 years, 7 months, and 28 days
Buried at: Westminster Abbey

Mary was the eldest daughter of James II and his first wife Anne Hyde. Her mother died when she was 9 years old. Her father converted to Catholicism and remarried, but Mary and her sister Anne were raised as Protestants. In 1677 at the age of 15 she was married in London to her cousin Prince William of Orange. She reportedly wept through the ceremony, but went to live with William in the Netherlands. She was warm-hearted and out-going whereas William was often dour and morose, but the marriage survived although all three of her pregnancies were stillborn.

Her father became King James II but by 1688 had become increasingly unpopular as king, and William and Mary were invited by parliamentary opposition to come to England and take the crown. Mary insisted that she would only do so if she reigned jointly with her husband. William’s army landed in November 1688 and James fled to exile in France. They were crowned King William III and Queen Mary II in April 1689, although Mary had misgivings about the plight of her father.

William and Mary built a new palace at Hampton Court adjacent to Henry VIII’s Tudor palace. William spent much of his time absent soldiering, first in Ireland, where he defeated James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, and later against the French in Flanders. While he was away Mary acted in her own name but had limited influence in politics following the 1689 Bill of Rights which restricted the political role of the monarch. She did however, briefly imprison her own uncle Henry Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, and John Churchill, Earl of Marlborough (6th great grandfather of Winston Churchill) on charges of plotting to restore James II. This brought her into conflict with her sister Anne who was a friend of the Churchills.

Mary died of smallpox in 1694. She had several stillborn children and died childless. Her husband William continued to rule alone and was succeeded in 1702 by Mary’s sister, Anne.


‘I am the prince’s wife and never meant to be other than subjection to him’ – Queen Mary II (refusing to rule as queen alone)



 William and Mary become joint King and Queen.  


 Parliament draws up the Declaration of Right detailing the unconstitutional acts of James II.  


 Bill of Rights is passed by Parliament. It stipulates that no Catholic can succeed to the throne, and also limits the powers of the Royal prerogative. The King of Queen cannot withhold laws passed by Parliament or levy taxes without Parliamentary consent. 


 Jacobite Highlanders rise in support of James and are victorious at Killiekrankie but are defeated a few months later at Dunkeld. 


 Catholic forces loyal to James II land in Ireland from France and lay siege to Londonderry. 


 William defeats James and French troops at the Battle of the Boyne in Ireland. Scottish Jacobites defeated at Haughs of Cromdale 


 Anglo-Dutch naval force is defeated by the French at Beachy Head. 


 The Treaty of Limerick allows Catholics in Ireland to exercise their religion freely, but severe penal laws soon follow. 


 William offers the Scottish Highlanders a pardon for the Jacobite uprising if they sign allegiance him 


 Glencoe Massacre. MacDonalds are killed by Campbells for not signing the oath of allegiance 


 Bank of England founded by William Paterson 


 Death of Mary. William now rules alone. 


 Peace of Ryswick ends the war with France. 


 First Civil List Act passed 


 The Act of Settlement establishes Hanoverian and Protestant succession to the throne. 


 James II dies in exile in France. French king recognizes James II’s son James Edward (The Old Pretender) as “James III”. 


 William forms grand alliance between England, Holland, and Austria to prevent the union of the French and Spanish crowns. 


 William dies after a riding accident. Stuarts in exile toast 'the gentleman in black velvet' in the belief that his horse stumbled on a mole hill.  

Britroyals Books and Kings & Queens Family Tree Poster