Anne of Denmark was the unknown Drama Queen of Scotland, who when her husband became James 1st of England, was Queen Anne of England.

What didn’t help was that the people thought she was a catholic from Denmark and her husband a foreigner from up north, Scotland!

This was a time when religious violence was still rife, and foreigners from Scotland were untrusted, while one from Denmark, was even worse!

She started at a disadvantage and did nothing to make the population love her.

All this eventually led to the Gunpowder Plot. 

We don’t know if she as involved in the plot to kill her husband, but we do know by this time they were not madly in love

However, she was a real Drama Queen and her story up to this point is quite interesting.

She was born in 1574, as the second daughter of King Frederick of Denmark.  He wasn’t happy, he wanted a son, so she was sent away to be raised in Germany until she was five.  She knew that she was being bought up to marry a prince and her parents would insist he was a protestant prince.

This is how she came, after years of diplomatic negotiations over the marriage treaty to marry James VI, the King of Scotland.  Denmark was Lutheranism state, while most of Europe’s kings were catholic. This created a problem as it limited the pool of potential husbands.

Once the marriage was agreed, things went a bit weird.

They married by proxy! Yes, he wasn’t there, due to the storms in the North Sea, he couldn’t get over, so, yes, someone stood in for him!

There is more, the stand-in had to do more than just stand-in, he had to lie fully clothed next to her in a bed!  You see what I mean about being weird?

She then waited ten days before could she set sail to Scotland, which she did with a flotilla of16 ships!  James with 12 ships left to meet her. The sea wasn’t on their side. Eventually, after losing 10 ships, she landed in Norway, where, because of the winter, she decided to stay until the summer. However, James decided he couldn’t wait and decided to go over and collect her.  He arrived in Oslo, then realised that it would be nuts to go back in the winter, so decided to marry her there.

Then they went weirder!

Now we come to the next strange bit. James was convinced that all these storms were the result of witchcraft, which before the marriage he wanted to fix.  He did this by having 11 innocent Norwegian women burn at the stake!  They then honeymooned in Norway until the next summer.

When they returned to Edinburgh, Anne had a coronation, full of glamour, a solid silver coach.  It lasted over seven hours.

Did they now live happy every after? 

No, because Scottish tradition required that on the birth of the first child it is separated from the mother and raised in a different castle.  This led to a permanent breach in their relationship.  From then on it appears that they basically hated each other

Then James became King of England

However, once James became King of England, inevitably she became Queen of England.

The marriage now went from bad to worse, as she secretly became a Catholic in Protestant England.

As she had a love of glamour and extravagance, so loved England, where she loved the glamourous balls while helping artists such as Shakespeare flourish. .

Was she the Great Patron behind the Gunpowder Plot?

As the state of her marriage deteriorated, it is claimed that Anne could have been a “great patron” behind the gunpowder plot?  But nothing has ever been proved.

With regard to the Gunpowder Plot, we have a 50 minute musical The Gunpowder Plot – Remember, Remember the 5th of November, which you can download from

Isn’t History Fun

To read more about this amazing lady go to:

©Tony Dalton