Anne Hyde (12 Mar 1637 – 31 Mar 1671) was Duchess of York and Albany was the first wife of James, Duke of York, later King James II and VII.
Anne was the daughter of a commoner – Edward Hyde. In 1629, Edward (1st Earl of Clarendon) married his first wife, Anne Ayliffe of Gretenham. Six months into the marriage Anne caught smallpox, miscarried and died. Three years later, Hyde married Frances Aylesbury. In 1637, Anne, the couple's eldest daughter, was born at Cranbourne Lodge in Windsor. Almost nothing except that she was named after Edward Hyde's first wife is known of her life before 1649, when her family fled to the Netherlands after the execution of King Charles I. They settled in Breda, where the Princess of Orange (also an English Princess Royal), as she had done with many English fugitives, offered them a home and appointed Anne a maid of honour, apparently against the wishes of her mother and late father.
Anne's marriage to James caused much gossip. The two first met in the Netherlands while Anne was living in the household of James' sister Mary. They held an official but private marriage ceremony in London on 3 September 1660, following the restoration of the monarchy. Two months after the marriage, Anne gave birth to the couple's first child, who had obviously been conceived out of wedlock. Until near the end of Anne's life, some observers disapproved of James' decision to marry Anne; but not King Charles II, James' brother, who wanted the marriage to take place.
All of their sons and two of their daughters died in infancy. The two who survived to adulthood were Lady Mary, who succeeded her father after his deposition during the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and Lady Anne, who succeeded her brother-in-law and became the first monarch of Great Britain.
Anne was ill for fifteen months after the birth of her youngest son, Edgar. She bore Henrietta in 1669 and Catherine in 1671. Anne never recovered from Catherine's birth. Ill with breast cancer, she died on 31 March 1671.[b] Two days after her death, her embalmed body was interred in the vault of Mary, Queen of Scots, at Westminster Abbey's Henry VII Chapel. In June 1671, Anne's only surviving son Edgar died of natural causes, followed by Catherine in December, leaving Ladies Mary and Anne as the Duke of York's heiresses.
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