Letter of Princess Anne of Denmark to the Queen, November 1688

During the night of November 25/26, 1688, Princess Anne of Denmark (younger daughter of King James II and VII) fled the court accompanied by Lady Churchill and Mrs. Berkeley. Princess Anne addressed the following letter to her step-mother Queen Mary Beatrice in explanation of her actions. The Queen, it would seem, did not receive the letter which was, however, published.

The text of this letter was printed in London in 1688 (Wing A3224). It can also be found on page 433 of State Tracts (London: Richard Baldwin, 1692; reprinted by Scholarly Resources, 1973).


I beg your pardon if I am so deeply affected with the surprising news of the Prince's being gone as not to be able to see you, but to leave this paper to express my humble duty to the King and yourself, and to let you know that I am gone to absent myself to avoid the King's displeasure, which I am not able to bear, either against the Prince or myself. And I shall stay at so great a distance as not to return before I hear the happy news of a reconcilement. And as I am confident the Prince did not leave the King with any other design than to use all possible means for his preservation, so I hope you will do me the justice to believe that I am incapable of following him for any other end. Never was anyone in such an unhappy condition, so divided between duty and affection to a father and a husband; and therefore I know not what to do but to follow one to preserve the other. I see the general falling off of the nobility and gentry, who avow to have no other end than to prevail with the King to secure their religion, which they saw so much in danger by the violent counsels of the priests, who, to promote their own religion, did not care to what dangers they exposed the King. I am fully persuaded that the Prince of Orange designs the King's safety and preservation, and hope all things may be composed without more blood-shed by the calling a Parliament. God grant a happy end to these troubles, that the King's reign may be prosperous, and that I may shortly meet you in perfect peace and safety; till when, let me beg you to continue the same favourable opinion that you have hitherto had of,

Your most obedient daughter and servant,


This page is maintained by Noel S. McFerran (noel.mcferran@rogers.com) and was last updated October 26, 2003.
© Noel S. McFerran 2000-2003.