Mary had, on November 4, 1677, married William of Orange, a Dutch Protestant prince. The English Parliament saw William as a suitable alternative to James II, who was deposed by the "Glorious Revolution" and went into exile. Mary was invited to take the throne, but she refused to do so unless her husband was named King as well. Parliament agreed and William and Mary became joint rulers - the only time this happened in British history. Mary had the legitimate claim of succession to the throne, while William had the armies of the Dutch republic to defend it.
On the continent William used England's forces to continue his long series of wars against Louis XIV of France. This kept him out of England for much of his reign. In his absence it was Mary who dealt with the court and parliament of England. She was a expert politician and her presence in Britain gave her husband a great deal of freedom to wage his wars. It is believed that their personal relationship was not a successful one. Mary's three pregnancies all ended in stillbirth.
Mary died of smallpox and the unpopular William reigned alone until his death. They are buried at Westminster Abbey.
King William was succeeded by Mary's younger sister, Anne.
See also British Monarchs
- A profile of Mary alongside other influential women of her time:http://www.guide2womenleaders.com/womeninpower/Womeninpower1670.htm
|William and Mary preceded by:
James II of England/
James VII of Scotland
|List of British Monarchs||succeeded by:
her husband William III who reigned on his own