Long Version (for those who want the background!):
When Queen Anne died in on August 1st 1714, having had many children, all of whom had died in childhood or earlier, there would have been several claimants to the throne. In order of seniority, they were:
1. Her half-brother James Francis Edward Stuart, "The Old Pretender", who saw himself as the rightful successor of their father James II. However, the British (English & Scottish) authorities were not willing to have a Catholic on the throne again, as made clear in the Act of Settlement (1701) and the earlier Bill of Rights (1689).
2. Another Catholic, the Duke of Bavaria, descended from Henrietta, daughter of Charles I and thus a cousin.
3. Her second cousin Georg Ludwig, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and King of Hanover, one of the seven Electors of Holy Roman Empire (and its Arch-Treasurer!), better known to us as George I, our first "Hanoverian" king. His mother Sophia had been declared heir presumptive in the 1701 Act of Settlement, in default of any "heirs of the body" of Mary II, Anne, and William III.
In order to prevent any upheavals or civil unrest, the death of Queen Anne was officially hushed up for a while, until there was confirmation of Georg's willingness to settle permanently in Britain and to rule here. His mother Sophia had died less than eight weeks earlier, but he soon decided: "I come for your good."
This censorship, however well-intentioned, was technically high treason, punishable by death! News had leaked out, so when at last there was an official announcement of the Queen's death, the crowd chanted in derision "Queen Anne is dead - didn't you know?" and to this day "And Queen Anne is dead" is a standard rejoinder to somebody who bears stale news or states the obvious.http://www.coinbooks.org/club_nbs_esylum_v07n...