UCL Division of Medicine


Sky History visit the Department of Inflammation for a new series of 'Royal Autopsy'

17 April 2024

Professor Alice Roberts and Professor Anisur Rahman explore whether Queen Anne may have had antiphospholipid syndrome.


Professor Alice Roberts and her team from the Sky History series "Royal Autopsy" visited the Department of Inflammation to film a discussion with Anisur Rahman and Thomas McDonnell about antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). Anisur and Thomas have been researching this condition for many years and are currently working to develop a potential new therapy. They will feature in Alice's programme about Queen Anne, who had 17 pregnancies, most of which ended in miscarriage or stillbirth. The fact that she had no surviving children altered British history dramatically, leading to the Hanoverian succession of George I. APS is one of the leading causes of recurrent miscarriage and also a major cause of stroke under the age of 50 - believed to be Anne's ultimate cause of death. In the programme, which will be screened on Sky History on April 23rd at 9pm, we discuss the case for Anne having had APS and how we diagnose it today.

It is worth noting that current treatment of obstetric APS with heparin and aspirin significantly increases the chance of a successful pregnancy and birth of a healthy child. If this treatment had been available to Queen Anne, perhaps we would have had no Georgians, no Queen Victoria and ultimately no King Charles III!

Dr Thomas McDonnell, Professor Alice Roberts and Professor Anisur Rahman in the Department of inflammation Laboratory in the Rayne Institute

Publications from Professor Anisur Rahman