William and Mary

William III of Orange

The statue of King William III is located at the south gate of Kensington Palace.  It was designed by Heinrich Bauke in 1907.  William of Orange led the invasion of England during the Glorious Revolution that saw the overthrow of James II as King.  Parliament in 1689 made William and his wife Mary II, daughter of James II, joint monarchs.  William preferred to live at Kensington Palace as “the air was cleaner than at Whitehall and better for his asthma” (Royal Parks/Kensington Gardens).  William was out of the country during the Nine Years War and Mary did most of the governing in his absence.  She died in 1694 of smallpox at the age of 32.

William III of Orange-2

A century of dispute was also ended with Parliament’s 1869 appointment of William and Mary as King and Queen: Parliament over the Crown was established in the Bill of Rights, which established the Sovereign could not suspend laws passed by Parliament, levy taxes without Parliamentary consent, infringe the right to petition, or unduly interfere with parliamentary elections, in addition to others.  William died without children and on his death in 1702, Anne–younger sister to Queen Mary II–succeeded him to the throne.

October 27, 1702, The Life of William the III was published which included accounts of his family, birth, education, many letters and documents and was “Illustrated with 40 Copper Cuts, as all the Medals ever Coined on him” (The Post Man and the Historical Account, p. 2).

Wikipedia provides support that Mary II “proved a firm ruler” and was seen as “capable and confident” and she was compared to Queen Elizabeth I.  Among her accomplishments, she endowed the College of William and Mary in Virginia.


By Peter Lely – http://www.royaltyguide.nl/images-families/stuart/1662%20Mary-10.jpgoriginally uploaded on de.wikipedia by Thyra (talk · contribs) at 13 December 2007, 12:37. Filename was 1662 Mary II.jpg., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3344426

This entry was posted in London, Statues and Memorials and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to William and Mary

  1. Betty says:

    So, do I have this right – England was ruled by a woman in the late 1600’s who was younger than 32, and she was seen as a competent leader? Interesting post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. peggyjoan42 says:

    A woman in power from way back in the long ago. Well, good for her. I am sure she must have been a very smart young woman. I can’t imagine how hot King William III got if he wore the clothes that are displayed on this statue. Thanks for this interesting history lesson,.


  3. Suzassippi says:

    It might be that “look at me! look at me!” thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beth says:

    How interesting! We wouldn’t see a joint monarchy today. Am I perceiving correctly that it was 1869 when Parliament established the constitutional monarchy?

    I just finished reading a second biography of Queen Victoria that covers her life through the death of the Prince Consort. I’ve had some laughs as the political situations they dealt with were much like what is going on in America today! The Prince Consort was, in many ways, the ruling monarch during his life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Suzassippi says:

      Yes; although the monarchy had been earlier absolved, it was (obviously) reinstated with the passage of the 1869 act, but limitations were placed on the monarch as far as what they could or could not do, and the primary purpose was to maintain Parliament’s control–rather like what Congress is supposed to be able to do with the Executive Branch in the States. [Apparently, the President does not accept the balance of powers. Perhaps he read too much British history during King James II reign, although he would do well to recall the part about being deposed.]

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Beth says:

    And, as I forgot to add to my first reply, Victoria and her mother, the Duchess of Kent, lived at Kensington Palace after the Duke died unexpectedly until her ascension. The lovely palaces had much to be desired back then and were often very dingy and unhealthy places to live.

    Liked by 2 people

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