Anne Hyde was a most unlikely wife for James Stuart, heir to his brother Charles II, King of England. Her marriage was a scandal for the Stuart family at the time due to her being born a commoner. But it turned out to be a love match and her two daughters ruled as queens.
Anne was born on March 12, 1637 at Cranbourne Lodge, Windsor Park. She was the eldest daughter of Sir Edward Hyde, a Wiltshire lawyer who entered politics and was later created Earl of Clarendon and his second wife Frances, daughter of Sir Thomas Aylesbury. We don’t know a lot about her early life but she would have been given an education worthy of her status. She grew up in a strict Protestant household but she appreciated the visual and ritual elements of Catholic worship and when she was twelve, she began making secret confession.
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