Her Serene Highness Princess Anne of Hanover, Duchess of Brunswick and Lüneburg was born at Schloss Herrenhausen, Hanover, Germany, five years before her paternal grandfather, the Elector Georg Ludwig, succeeeded to the British throne as King George I. Upon her grandfather's ascension in 1714, it became established practice that the legitimate children and the male-line grandchildren of a British Sovereign would be titled prince or princess of Great Britain and Ireland and styled Royal Highness; great grandchildren in the male line would be prince or princess of Great Britain and Ireland and styled Highness. Her father became king on 11 June 1727. On 30 August of that year, George II created his eldest daughter Princess Royal. King Charles I first bostowed this title on his daughter, Mary Stuart (the mother of William III of England), in 1642. However, the title fell from use until the reign of George II. (Princess Anne became Princess Royal during the lifetime of her aunt, Queen Sophea Dorothea of Prussia, who had been eligible for this honor but did not receive it.)
On 25 March 1734, the Princess Royal married Prince Willem IV of Orange-Nassau at the Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace, London. The groom was the son of Prince Johan Willem Friso of Orange-Nassau, the stadholder of Friesland and the Friesian claimant to the leadership of the United Provinces, and of Langravine Maria of Hesse-Cassel (1688-1765). He became stadholder of Groningen in 1718; Drenthe and Guelders in 1722; and Zealand, Holland, Utrecht and Overijssel in 1741. In an effort to quell internal strife amongst the various factions, in 1748, the States-General selected Willem IV as their stadholder, making it a hereditary position.
The Prince and Princess of Orange-Nassau had a stillborn son in 1735 and two stillborn daughters in 1736 and 1739, respectively. Their other children were: