Anne of Denmark
Posted on 20th January 2023
Anne was born on 12 December 1574 at the Castle of Skandenborg in Denmark, the second daughter of King Frederick II of Denmark and Sophie of Mecklenburg-Gustrow.
Many suitors came forward during Anne’s childhood, but finally an agreement was made for the fourteen year-old Anne to marry James VI of Scotland, and they married by proxy on 20 August 1589.
Shortly after this Anne set sail for Scotland, but due to bad weather her ship was diverted to the Norway coast, she then travelled over land to Oslo.
James set sail to fetch his wife himself and shortly after arriving in Oslo they were married on 23 November 1589 at the Old Bishops Palace in Oslo. They stayed on the continent over the winter before finally travelling to Scotland, arriving on 1 May 1590. Anne was then crowned on 17 May 1590 at Abbey Church at Holyrood, Scotland.
Anne was under pressure to provide James with a son to secure the succession, however two years and many rumours regarding both James and Anne’s behaviours would pass before this occurred.
Finally in February 1594 Anne gave birth to a son, Henry Frederick, a happy event for the Scottish people, and Anne and James themselves.
Anne’s happiness was short-lived. She herself had been raised in a loving home with her mother, and wished to raise her son in the same way. James however had other ideas and arranged for his son to be sent to Stirling Castle to be raised by John Erskine, Earl of Mar, stating that this was for his son’s own protection.
Anne and James’ relationship may have suffered following the removal of Henry from his mother however they were to go on to have six further children, only two surviving into adulthood, the future Charles I and Elizabeth.
In 1603 Anne’s life was to change dramatically. James VI of Scotland now also became James I of England following the death of Elizabeth I.
Anne travelled south to join her husband in London, finally bringing her son Henry Frederick with her. She realised that the English crown was much wealthier than the Scottish and she revelled in this new found wealth, becoming a patron of the arts.
Both Anne and James spent heavily and it did not take long for the crown to be in debt, their spending always out waying their wealth.
Over time Anne and James’ lives became more separated as James spent much time staying at his hunting lodge while Anne continued to live at Greenwich Palace and then Somerset House.
In 1612, Anne was badly affected by the death of her son Henry Frederick, aged eighteen and also the marriage and departure of her daughter in 1613. Following these events, Anne’s health started to deteriorate.
Anne suffered many illnesses and continued to deteriorate. She was moved to Hampton Court in 1618, where she died on 2 March 1619. James only visited her on three occasions during her final illness and was not present at her death; their son Charles however stayed with her during those final hours.
Anne of Denmark in buried in King Henry’s Chapel in Westminster Abbey.
Tagged as: Junior Stuarts
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