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Anne Hyde, Duchess of York by Sir Peter Lely
Picture of Anne Hyde, c. 1670

Lady Anne Hyde, Duchess of York (22 March 1638 – 31 March 1671) was the first wife of James, Duke of York (the future King James II of England and VII of Scotland). She was also and the mother of two queens, Mary II of England and Scotland and Anne of Great Britain.

Early years

She was born on 12 March 1638 (Old Style) or 22 March 1638 (New Style), at Windsor, Berkshire of the Hyde family.

The royal family stayed in exile after the English Civil War. Anne's father served as the Royalist chief adviser to the future King Charles II of England, James's older brother. Anne was Maid of Honour to Mary, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange, sister of Charles and James.

Duchess of York

The couple went through an official marriage ceremony on 3 September 1660, in London, after the English Restoration of the monarchy. Anne was not a beautiful woman. In fact, Samuel Pepys slights her as being quite plain. However, the French Ambassador described her as having "courage, cleverness, and energy almost worthy of a King's blood".

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