The painting of Anne and James above is interesting — usually the woman is gazing at the man in devotion, while the man faces the audience in defiance. In this one he’s gazing at Anne in defiance, and she’s blandly ignoring him.
Anne Hyde was a most unlikely wife for James Stuart, heir to his brother Charles II, King of England. Her marriage was a scandal for the Stuart family at the time due to her being born a commoner. But it turned out to be a love match and her two daughters ruled as queens.
Anne was born on March 12, 1637 at Cranbourne Lodge, Windsor Park. She was the eldest daughter of Sir Edward Hyde, a Wiltshire lawyer who entered politics and was later created Earl of Clarendon and his second wife Frances, daughter of Sir Thomas Aylesbury. We don’t know a lot about her early life but she would have been given an education worthy of her status. She grew up in a strict Protestant household but she appreciated the visual and ritual elements of Catholic worship and when she was twelve, she began making secret confession.
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