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Anne of Denmark lived from 14 October 1574 to 4 March 1619. Born, as her usually used name suggests, as a member of the Danish Royal Family, she became queen consort of King James I of England and VI of Scotland. The wider picture in Scotland at the time is set out in our Historical Timeline.
Anne was born at Skanderborg Castle in Denmark, the daughter of Frederick II of Denmark & Norway, and Sophia of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. In August 1589 and still only 14 years old, Anne was married by proxy to the 23 year old James VI of Scotland. From James's point of view Anne was the ideal wife. Young and attractive, she was also a Protestant, which would go down well in post-Reformation Scotland; she was Scandinavian, which would help Scottish trade; and she came with a vast dowry of £150,000. On 1 September 1589 a Danish fleet was dispatched to carry Anne to Scotland. A storm struck which was so violent that the Danish Admiral commanding the fleet said he felt it must have been summoned by witchcraft, and he turned back for shelter in Norway.
In late October, James left Scotland to bring his bride home himself. James and Anne were married in person in Oslo on 23 November 1589, and again, in January 1590, in the Danish royal family's traditional seat at Kronenberg Castle. They then spent several months honeymooning in Norway. The happy couple arrived back in Leith on 1 May 1690, albeit after another very stormy crossing of the North Sea. Anne was crowned Queen of Scotland in the Abbey Church at Holyrood on 17 May 1590. The belief that the storms that had beset both of Anne's voyages across the north sea were the result of witchcraft led James VI to start a major witch-hunt across Scotland in which, over the century that followed, over a thousand witches would be "discovered" and executed.
James and Anne had seven children together, born at roughly two year intervals from 1594 until 1606. Only the first three would survive childhood. These were their eldest son, Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales; their eldest daughter Elizabeth who was to become Queen of Bohemia (and whose grandson would later become George I of Great Britain); and Charles, who would go on to become Charles I.
In the mid 1590s Anne converted to Catholicism, causing James severe problems in strongly Presbyterian Scotland and putting considerable strain on their marriage. Thereafter they drifted apart, and from the late 1590s Anne spent much of her time at a restored Dunfermline Palace, living apart from James. Anne did, however, accompany James to London in 1603, and they were crowned King and Queen of England together on 25 July in Windsor Castle: though during the ceremony Anne again caused considerable disquiet by refusing to take Anglican Communion.
Anne found London society very much to her taste, and when not actively producing children, devoted herself to court entertainments and functions. She also demonstrated a great liking for very expensive clothing and building projects, all of which did little to assist the already strained royal treasury: or her relationship with James. In November 1612, Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, died of typhoid. Anne was devastated. In February 1613, Anne's second child, Elizabeth, married Frederick, Elector Palatine, in London, en route to becoming the Queen of Bohemia. Anne died on 4 March 1619 at Hampton Court Palace, and was later buried in Westminster Abbey.