William III of England (The Hague,14 November 1650 – Hampton Court, 8 March 1702; also known as William II of Scotland and William III of Orange) was a Dutch aristocrat and a Protestant Prince of Orange from his birth, Stadtholder of the United Netherlands from 28 June 1672, King of England and King of Ireland from 13 February 1689, and King of Scots from 11 April 1689, in each case until his death
Born a member of the House of Orange-Nassau, William III won the English, Scottish and Irish Crowns following the Glorious Revolution, during which his uncle and father-in-law, James II, was deposed. In England, Scotland and Ireland, William ruled jointly with his wife, Mary II, until her death on 28 December 1694. He reigned as 'William II' in Scotland, but 'William III' in all his other realms. Among Unionists in Northern Ireland, he is also informally known as King Billy.
William III was appointed to the Dutch post of Stadtholder on 28 June 1672, and remained in office until he died. In that context, he is sometimes referred to as 'William Henry, Prince of Orange', as a translation of his Dutch title, Willem Hendrik, Prins van Oranje. A Protestant, William participated in many wars against the powerful King Louis XIV of France. Many Protestants heralded him as a champion of their faith; it was partly due to such a reputation that he was able to take the crown of England, many of whose people were intensely fearful of Catholicism and the papacy, although other reasons for his success might be his army and a fleet even larger than the famed Spanish Armada. His reign marked the beginning of the transition from the personal control of government of the Stuarts to the Parliamentary type rule of the House of Hanover.