Thursday, January 03, 2019

Mary Queen of Scots. Did you know?

The film will be with us soon and we'll see the dramatic (but fictional) meeting between Mary and her cousin Elizabeth. But here are a few facts about our tragic royal heroine.

1. Mary is one of the best known Scottish monarchs and yet she spent 18 years 8 months in England, 13 years in France. Only 12 years 5 months in Scotland (1542 - 48 and 1561- 68).

2. Mary was married three times. The marriage to Francis II of France lasted 26 months (Francis died). The second to Henry Lord Darnley lasted 18 months (Darnley was murdered), the last to James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell technically lasted some years but after 30 days Mary was imprisoned and Bothwell fled.

3. When at Jedburgh, Mary nearly died of what was probably a gastric ulcer. Her French physician 'cured' her with tight bandaging of the arms and legs, and by inducing vomiting with an enema and large quantities of wine.

4 Mary went to France aged six as Marie Stewart but her French governess explained that 'ew' is pronounced 'ev' (it is in French!) and if you want 'Stooart' it must be spelled 'Stuart'. So she returned as Marie Stuart.

5. The day after Darnley's murder Mary attended the wedding of her bedchamber woman, Margaret Carwood. She is said to have played golf 'a few days' after the murder. She certainly married the man widely thought to have been the murderer (Bothwell) just three months and six days after the murder.

6. She was held in seven different castles in England. Nothing remains of the grand royal residence of Fotheringhay where she was executed on 8 February 1587.

7. Her descendants have been on the thrones of England and Scotland ever since.

Follow the Mary Queen of Scots trail  with Clans and Castles.

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