updated: 05/04/2009

C17th England: Anne of Denmark

Anne of Denmark (1574–1619) was queen consort of James VI of Scots, I of England and Ireland. The second daughter of King Frederick II of Denmark, Anne married James in 1589 at the age of fourteen and bore him three children who survived infancy, including the future Charles I. Anne appears to have loved James at first, but the couple were soon at loggerheads over the custody of prince Henry and the King’s treatment of her friend Beatrix Ruthven. They lived apart for long periods – although some claim that mutual respect and a degree of affection survived – and in 1604 she confided to the French envoy: ‘The King drinks so much, and conducts himself so ill in every respect, that I expect an early and evil result.’ Whatever, she demonstrated an independent streak and a willingness to use factional Scottish politics in her conflicts with James. When James succeeded to the throne of England in 1603 Anne shifted her energies to patronage of the arts and constructed a magnificent court of her own, hosting one of the richest cultural salons in Europe. After 1612, she suffered sustained bouts of ill health and gradually withdrew from the centre of court life. Though she was reported to have died a Protestant, some evidence suggests that she may have converted to Catholicism. Historians have traditionally dismissed Anne as a lightweight queen, frivolous and self-indulgent. However, recent reappraisals acknowledge Anne's assertive independence and, in particular, her dynamic significance as a patron of the arts during the Jacobean age.

The New World (2005): A drama about explorer John Smith and the clash between Native Americans and English settlers in the seventeenth century. Anne of Denmark (Alexandra WB Malick) is seen briefly when Pocahontas is received at court. Paul Engelen was the makeup designer; John R Bayless was the makeup department head.

Gunpowder, Treason & Plot (2003): Mini series depicting the turbulent and bloody reigns of Scottish monarchs Mary, Queen of Scots and her son King James VI of Scotland who became King James I of England and foiled the Gunpowder Plot. Sira Stampe played Anne of Denmark. Penny Smith was makeup designer.