William III of England  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

William III & II (Template:Lang-nl; 4 November 1650 – 8 March 1702) was a sovereign Prince of Orange of the House of Orange-Nassau by birth. From 1672 he governed as Stadtholder William III of Orange (Template:Lang-nl) over Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelderland, and Overijssel of the Dutch Republic. From 1689 he reigned as William III over England and Ireland. By coincidence, his regnal number (III) was the same for both Orange and England. As King of Scotland, he is known as William II. He is informally known by sections of the population in Northern Ireland and Scotland as "King Billy". In what became known as the "Glorious Revolution", on 5 November 1688 William invaded England in an action that ultimately deposed King James II & VII and won him the crowns of England, Scotland and Ireland. In the British Isles, William ruled jointly with his wife, Mary II, until her death on 28 December 1694. The period of their joint reign is often referred to as "William and Mary".

A Protestant, William participated in several wars against the powerful Catholic king of France, Louis XIV, in coalition with Protestant and Catholic powers in Europe. Many Protestants heralded him as a champion of their faith. Largely because of that reputation, William was able to take the British crowns when many were fearful of a revival of Catholicism under James. William's victory over James at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 is still commemorated by the Orange Order. His reign marked the beginning of the transition from the personal rule of the Stuarts to the more Parliament-centred rule of the House of Hanover.

In popular culture

William has been played on screen by Bernard Lee in the 1937 film The Black Tulip, based on the novel by Alexandre Dumas, père, Henry Daniell in the 1945 film Captain Kidd, Olaf Hytten in the 1952 film Against All Flags, Alan Rowe in the 1969 BBC drama series The First Churchills, Laurence Olivier in the 1986 NBC TV mini-series Peter the Great, Thom Hoffman in the 1992 film Orlando, based on the novel by Virginia Woolf, Corin Redgrave in the 1995 film England, My England, the story of the composer Henry Purcell, Jochum ten Haaf in the 2003 BBC miniseries Charles II: The Power & the Passion, Bernard Hill in the 2005 film The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse, and Russell Pate in the 2008 BBC film King Billy Above All.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "William III of England" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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