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King William III (1650-1702), Reigned 1689-1702
Sitter associated with 139 portraits
Reigned 1689-1702. Born at the Hague, William III was the posthumous son of the Stadholder William II. His youth was passed under the shadow of Republican ascendancy, since his father's bid for personal power had provoked a strong reaction. He became a proficient student of languages, growing up frugal, temperate and reserved, though capable of deep devotion, as, for instance, to his faithful Bentinck. William married his cousin Mary, daughter of James II and Anne Hyde in 1677. In 1688 he accepted the invitation of seven leading Englishmen to land in Britain with an armed force to preserve Protestant liberties. After the flight of James II he was crowned king and ruled jointly with his wife. He showed great magnanimity to his enemies, and considerable skill in making the best of the English political situation, though he experienced much opposition to his rule.