Anne Hyde, Duchess of York(1637-1671), First wife of James II; mother of Mary II and Queen Anne
Sitter in 16 portraits
The daughter of a Royalist advisor to the exiled Charles II, Anne secretly married James, the Duke of York, in the Netherlands in 1659. The couple went through an official marriage ceremony in London the following year. Their first child was born less than two months later, but died in infancy, as did five further children. Only two of their children survived, the future queens Mary and Anne. Anne died a few weeks after the birth of their youngest child. Late in her life, Anne secretly converted to Catholicism, as did her husband after her death. At the order of James's older brother King Charles, however, their daughters received a Protestant education. Anne was an important patron of the painter Sir Peter Lely.