Portrait of Anne

Ask the pupils to look carefully at the image. What can they see?

  • How is this person dressed?
  • What does this reveal about her wealth and importance?
  • How old might she be?
  • Who do you think she might be?
  • Why do you think this image was painted?

Explain that this is a portrait of Queen Anne and that it is painted on an official document from the Treasury. The Treasury were responsible for the money/ funds of the Queen.

  • Who might have seen this portrait?
  • Would these people have been important to Queen Anne?
  • Why would she have wanted them to see her in a particular way?
  • What does this reveal about how Queen Anne wanted to be viewed?

Explain that some of Queen Anne’s contemporaries (people alive at the same time as her), described her in an unflattering way: they said that she was very overweight, that her skin was red and spotty, and her clothing mismatched and untidy. Why do the pupils think these descriptions and the portrait of Anne don’t match? Who might have said these things and why?  The image and impression that Queen Anne wanted to show to her people was very important. In a time without social media, television and photographs, Anne needed to be shown as impressive and powerful; the role of Queen demanded this.

Return to Role of a Queen – Mary I and Anne