Mary II

This familiar face, seen again and again, is Queen Mary II (Stuart) of England. (1662-1694)

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The portrait above was painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller for William III and Mary II in 1690.

Mary II (1662 – 1694) was joint monarch of England, Scotland, and Ireland with her husband and first cousin, William of Orange, from 1689 until her death. William and Mary, both Protestants, became king and queen regnant following the Glorious Revolution, which resulted in the adoption of the English Bill of Rights and the deposition of her Roman Catholic father, James II and VII. William became sole ruler upon her death in 1694. Popular histories usually refer to their joint reign as that of “William and Mary”.

Mary wielded less power than William when he was in England, ceding most of her authority to him, though he heavily relied on her. She did, however, act alone when William was engaged in military campaigns abroad, proving herself to be a powerful, firm, and effective ruler.

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Mary II’s Legacy

William and Mary are depicted (above) on the ceiling of the Painted Hall, Greenwich, by Sir James Thornhill.

 

Mary endowed the College of William and Mary (in the present day Williamsburg, Virginia). She is credited with influencing garden design, with popularizing blue and white porcelain, and the keeping of goldfish as pets.[81]

The Royal Collection

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