Was compelled by failing health to appoint a regent, and chose his sister, Catherine of Braganza, queen-dowager of England.
Her marriage dower had been seized by the queen dowager Isabella to pay a body of Hainauters, with whose help she had compassed her husband's deposition.
During this period he acquired some knowledge of Russian, and gained the warm regard of the tsar, as well as of the dowager-empress, herself a Prussian princess.
In that circle they discountenanced those who advised hurried preparations for a removal to Kazan of the court and the girls' educational establishments under the patronage of the Dowager Empress.
In these circumstances the Act of Settlement was passed, enacting that, in default of issue to either William or: Anne, the crown of England, France 4 and Ireland was to pass to "the most excellent princess Sophia, electress and duchess dowager of Hanover," a grand-daughter of James I., and "the heirs of her body being Protestants."