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"I am her majesty's subject": Prince George of Denmark and the transformation of the English male consort

“I am her majesty’s subject”: Prince George of Denmark and the transformation of the English male consort

Beem, Charles

Canadian Journal of History, vol. 39, no. 3 (Dec. 2004)

Abstract

One of the most enigmatic personalities of the late Stuart era in England was Prince George of Denmark, the husband of Queen Anne (1702-1714). During the reigns of James II (1685-1688), his father-in-law, and William III (1689-1702), his brother-in-law, George participated in military campaigns, attended the Privy Council, and was a regular presence in the House Lords, but left no discernible historical impression of himself in these capacities. Instead, George played the role of political proxy for his wife, who was prohibited from formal participation in the male dominant public spaces of government and war because of her sex, despite her place in the Stuart succession. Once Anne became queen, with full access to male gendered political power, George failed to share his wife’s social or political status as a king consort, as his wife had shared his status as princess of Denmark before her accession, and as the wives of kings shared their husband’s royal status as queen consorts. Anne was a queen without a king, even though she had a spouse, who played the public but informal role of a loyal and obedient subject.

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