You are my favorite, but not for long…
I hope you enjoyed Part I and Part II stories behinds Hampton Court Palace so far, there is another point brought us to Hampton court is about Queen Anne, remember we slightly talk about her in the post of St. Paul’s cathedral?
There is a Queen Anne’s statue displayed at the front yard. Also, the movie, The Favorite (2019) was shot here. Three great actors, (Olivia Colman) as Queen Anne and her ‘favorite’ Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough (Rachel Weisz, my girl crush at childhood 🧡), the new favorite servant Abigail (Emma Stone) have excellent acting in the whole 2 hours. we enjoyed the tension between them very much, although the lower shooting angles may not be our likelihood, it still triggered us want to know more about Queen Anne.
Dose Queen Anne really was a willful, emotional and hysterical woman as the movie portrayed?
Here are some facts about Queen Anne:
- She was the sister of Queen Mary II, since William III and Mary II didn’t have heir, Anne became the predecessor, reign 1702-1714.
- Her husband Prince George was a drunk but he was a loyal and supportive husband to Queen Anne. Their marriage was a devoted, loving and faithful one.
- She didn’t have the best health, she had eye illness as a child and she constantly got pregnant 17 times and obese. But most of them ended in miscarriages and only one William died at 11 years old. She died of a stroke at 49.
- The United Kingdom of Great Britain was created during her reign by the Union of England and Scotland, therefore she has the title Queen of Great Britain.
- She oversaw the united kingdom, Britain became a major military power and the foundations were laid for the 18th century’s Golden Age.
Queen Anne and her longtime close friend and advisor Sarah Jenning (later became Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough) were met earlier than she became the queen.
During William III and Mary II’s reign, Anne requested the use of Richmond Palace and a parliamentary allowance. William and Mary refused the first, and unsuccessfully opposed the latter, both of which caused tension between the two sisters. as the new king and queen feared that Anne’s financial independence would weaken their influence over her. Mary II also didn’t like Sarah that much, in fact, every chance she got, she wanted Sarah to be apart from Anne. the request was refused by Anne, and bond their relationship even more.
At Anne’s request she and Sarah Churchill, Lady Marlborough, began to call each other the pet names Mrs. Morley and Mrs. Freeman, to facilitate a relationship of greater equality between the two when they were alone. Sarah was Mrs. Freeman and Anne, Mrs. Morley.
As Sarah and her husband, Dutch and the Duchess of Marlborough got more power at the court in years, plus Anne’s beloved husband Prince George died, Anne forged a close friendship with another female courtier, Abigail Hill, a woman of the bedchamber, Modest and undemanding opposite to Sarah. when Abigail moved into rooms at Kensington Palace that Sarah considered her own that infuriated Sarah.
The Duchess wrote to Anne telling her she had damaged her reputation by conceiving “a great passion for such a woman … strange and unaccountable.
At a thanksgiving service for a victory at the Battle of Oudenarde 1708, Anne did not wear the jewels that Sarah had selected for her. At the door of St Paul’s Cathedral, they had an argument that Sarah offending the Queen by telling her to be quiet. the queen herself was tiring of the Duchess’s domineering and high-handed manner. She ended the friendship.
In 1711 Anne forced Sarah to resign her court offices. Anne dismissed Marlborough and made peace with France. A treaty was formally agreed in 1713 and England emerged triumphantly. Despite the heavy losses that she had suffered, she was now more powerful militarily than France and more commercially effective than the Netherlands.
After researching on this friendship, the movie is pretty accurate about the incidents, although it may be too dramatic pointed on the lesbian part, in which Queen Anne was faithful and devoted to her husband very much. I do believe Queen Anne does want a close friend who she can rely on instead of playing a game of power (as Mary II and Sarah did) at her difficult times.
Despite her poor health, Anne was never faint at her duties as queen. She wrote letters to her fellow heads of state by hand. With significant progress for the country; a united kingdom of Great Britain, and the military, economic and political base for the golden age of the 18th century was established. She got so little credit on these, instead, she has often been described as a weak and incapable monarch. so UNFAIR!
Here we are at Hampton court palace to see her, Queen Anne did make changes to the Queen’s Apartments and the Chapel Royal.
The most impressive portrait of her is at The Queen’s Drawing Room, on the ceiling, Verrio paints her as ‘Divine Justice’ crowned by Britannia and Neptune, the god of the sea. It was not allowed photography because of protecting the painting. Still, I think she deserves a better perspective than the negative view of her.
We finished our visit by taking a rest at the garden, thinking of those history has it complex parts and we as an outsider, we will never really know the mysterious court life full of tensions between woman and woman, man and man, siblings, power, and desire; everyone looking to be validated in some ways, some for a long term some a short term.
Although Queen Anne’s story reminded me so much as a teenage girls (especially I studied at an all girl’s high school), those jealous, ownership to a friendship sometimes could become quite ugly, but in the end, I totally understand it’s all out of dissatisfaction of a desire- to be loved, to belong to some social groups.
I wished you enjoyed the sharing of Hampton court Part III, personally ranking it as the top must-do in London, from history to photography buff’s point of view, this place is a gem! I have no doubt I will visit here when I visit London next time!
And what’s your favorite story of the monarch who once lived at Hampton court palace? Please share with me! 🙂
Tips for visiting Hampton Court Palace
- Please book the ticket on their official website, it has a discount price. And please print it out as they don’t accept digital tickets yet.
- Highly recommend planning as a whole day experience to fully enjoy all the spots, from the king’s apartment, a maze to gardens.
- It’s a family-friendly place, they also provide a magic garden which kids may have fun here.
- They also provide different tour, activities, events on the website, you can plan it accordingly.
- Please wear comfortable shoes and pack light, it’s a huge place.
- Bring your camera, it’s a super photogenic place!
- Take a train from London to Hampton court palace is about 40 mins, costs about 30-35.
- See stories of Henry VIII and his wives, his kitchen, please check Part I here.
- See stories of William III and Mary II at Hampton Court palace, please check Part II here.