Mary II (30 April 1662 – 28 December 1694) was Queen regnant of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1689 until her death. Mary, a Protestant, came to the thrones following the Glorious Revolution, which resulted in the deposition of her Roman Catholic father, James II and VII. Mary reigned jointly with her husband and first cousin, William III and II, who became the sole ruler of both countries upon her death in 1694.
William III (14 November 1650 – 8 March 1702) was a sovereign Prince of Orange by birth. From 1672 he governed as Stadtholder William III of Orange over Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders, and Overijssel of the Dutch Republic. From 1689 he reigned as William III over England and Ireland, and as William II over Scotland. He is informally known in Northern Ireland and Scotland as "King Billy".
John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough (26 May 1650 – 16 June 1722), was a prominent English soldier and statesman whose career spanned the reigns of five monarchs throughout the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Rising from a lowly page at the court of the House of Stuart, he loyally served the Duke of York through the 1670s and early 1680s, earning military and political advancement through his courage and diplomatic skill.
The phrase William and Mary usually refers to the joint sovereignty over the Kingdom of England, as well as the Kingdom of Scotland, of King William III and his wife Queen Mary II, a son-in-law and daughter of James II. Their joint reign began in February, 1689, when they were called to the throne by Parliament, replacing James II, who was "deemed to have fled" the country in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. After Mary died in 1694, William of Orange ruled alone until his death in 1702.
The first person to assume the title Rex Anglorum (King of the English) was Offa of Mercia, though his power did not survive him. In the 9th century the kings of Wessex, who conquered Kent and Sussex from Mercia in 825, became increasingly dominant over the other kingdoms of England. The continuous list of English monarchs traditionally begins with Egbert of Wessex in 829. Alfred the Great and his son Edward the Elder used the title "King of the Anglo-Saxons".