Mary Queen of Scots (1542 – 1587), was Queen of Scotland (1542 – 1567). In 1542 James V., the King of Scotland died. His daughter, Mary, was only one week old. She succeded to the throne shortly after, when her father died.
She was brought up the Franch court and was briefly Queen of France as the wife Francis II. In 1559 Francis became King of France. So at the age of 17, Mary, who was a beautiful woman with lovely red hair, was Queen of two countries. But after only one year as King, Francis died. Her mother-in-law, Mary of Guise, did not want Mary in France and so she returned to Scotland. Returning to Scotland in 1561 she as a Roman Catholic had to face the growing strenght of Protestantism. In 1565 she married her cousin, Lord Darnley. Mary and Darnley did not like each other. Darnley became very jealous of an Italian, called Riccio. One night, Darnley and the group of his freinds murdered Riccio in front of Mary.
Two years later Darnley, too, died. When Mary had gone to a dance, her husband was at home. In the middle of the night the house was exploded and caught fire. But Darnley’s body was not found in the house. It was found in the garden. He had been strangled. Who was the murderer? People suspected the Earl of Bothwell. Then Mary shocked the people of Scotland.
She married Bothwell. There was a rebellion. Mary was compelled to abdicate in favour of her infant son. Bothwell, who escaped to Norway, went mad and died in prison. Mary fled to England, where she was imprisoned by Elizabeth I., who was Mary’s cousin. After many years in prison she was implicated in a plot against Elizabeth (Mary had a strong claim to the English throne) and executed. When the executioner lifted up her head, he picked up only the hair. It was a wig. Mary’s own beautiful red hair had turned thin and grey. In the end, Mary had lost everything. She had lost the crowns of France and scotland, three husbands, her son, her life – even her famous beauty.
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Mary Queen of Scots
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