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George of Denmark, Prince

George of Denmark, Prince (1653–1708), consort of Queen Anne. The younger son of Frederick III of Denmark, George was affable but dull. ‘I have tried him drunk,’ Charles II once remarked, ‘and I have tried him sober and there is nothing in him.’ Trained in science and warfare, he saw action against the Swedes in the late 1670s. His marriage to Anne (his second cousin once removed) in 1683 sealed a diplomatic concord between their respective kingdoms against the Dutch. A highly devout Lutheran protestant, he was a most devoted husband. He deserted his father-in-law James II at the 1688 revolution, but was never on good terms with William III. At his wife's accession in 1702 he was made titular head of the Royal Navy as lord high admiral. Though dogged by ill-health, he was the queen's mainstay throughout her many personal and political tribulations.

Andrew Hanham

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