Mary II of England allowed her husband to rule, and neither got along with Anne during their reign. But since they never had children, after Mary died, followed by William, in 1702, the throne then passed to Anne. Anne's reign would be characterized by the attempts of others to manipulate her. Most significantly among these individuals was Sarah Churchill. A friend of Anne's since childhood, Anne leaned heavily on her for companionship. After Anne's marriage she named Sarah to the prestigious position of Lady of the Bedchamber. After Anne became queen, she named Sarah to other prominent posts including Keeper of the Privy Purse, Mistress of the Robes and Groom of the Stole. Their relationship for many years was a close one with Anne showering Sarah with large allowances and gifts, such as the huge and extravagant Blenheim estate. The estate was given to the Churchill's as a reward for John Churchill's important military victory in the War of Spanish Succession. Anne often seemed dependent on Sarah, at least for emotional support. Anne would constantly write to Sarah when Sarah was away from the court attending to her family. Anne's letters made it seem like she could not get along without Sarah. They would use playful pseudonyms when writing to each other: Anne being Mrs. Morley and Sarah Mrs. Freeman. Their relationship would eventually deteriorate due to Sarah's nagging and their many petty arguments. Sarah would fall out of favor and would be replaced as Anne's favorite by a distant cousin, Abigail Masham.
The end of Anne's friendship with Sarah signalled a change in political influences as well. Although Anne had always been a strong Tory throughout her reign, she had vigorously supported the War of Spanish Succession, a Whig war. Sarah Churchill was a Whig and her husband John, though a Tory, was the leading English general in the conflict. Because of the Churchill's influence, Anne had always been inclined to support the war, which was the most important event in foreign affairs during Anne's reign. However, when Abigail Masham, a Tory, replaced Sarah as Anne's close friend it signalled a shift in politics. Some historians believe Anne manipulated her ministers to enact the policies she wanted while others see her as a monarch manipulated by her ministers. Whatever the case, when the Tories came into power they negotiated an end to the war.