Accession of Queen Anne of England, Scotland and Ireland. Part V

European Royal History

Anne’s final pregnancy ended on January 25, 1700 with a stillbirth. She had been pregnant at least 17 times over as many years, and had miscarried or given birth to stillborn children at least 12 times. Of her five liveborn children, four died before the age of two.

Anne suffered from bouts of “gout” (pains in her limbs and eventually stomach and head) from at least 1698. Based on her foetal losses and physical symptoms, she may have had systemic lupus erythematosus, or antiphospholipid syndrome. Alternatively, pelvic inflammatory disease could explain why the onset of her symptoms roughly coincided with her penultimate pregnancy.

Other suggested causes of her failed pregnancies are listeriosis, diabetes, intrauterine growth retardation, and rhesus incompatibility. Rhesus incompatibility, however, generally worsens with successive pregnancies, and so does not fit the pattern of Anne’s pregnancies, as her only son to survive infancy, Prince William, Duke of Gloucester, was…

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