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Prince William of Gloucester

Prince William, Duke of Gloucester (1689–1700), was the son of Princess Anne (later Queen of Great Britain) and her husband, Prince George, Duke of Cumberland. William was their only child to survive infancy. Styled Duke of Gloucester, he was viewed as a Protestant champion because his birth seemed to cement the Protestant succession established in the "Glorious Revolution" that had deposed his Catholic grandfather James II the previous year. Anne was estranged from her brother-in-law, William III, and her sister, Mary II, but supported the links that developed between them and her son. Prince William befriended his Welsh body-servant at his nursery in Campden House, Kensington; his memoir of the Duke is an important source for historians. William's precarious health was a constant source of worry to his mother. His death at the age of eleven precipitated a succession crisis as his mother was the only individual remaining in the Protestant line of succession established by the Bill of Rights 1689. To avoid the throne passing to a Catholic, the Act of Settlement 1701 settled the throne on Electress Sophia of Hanover, a cousin of King James, and her Protestant heirs. (Full article...)

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