Mary Queen of Scots
Imagine yourself becoming a queen as an infant then your
parent sends you to another country for a marriage to someone
you barely know or even love as a teenager. Then your spouse
dies and you return to your native country to rule as the
rightful monarch. But along the way you realize that this
is going to be difficult because the people you rule over
not only hate your religion, but they also don't like you
and they begin to think of ways to remove you from the throne.
Mary Queen of Scots
If that's not bad enough, you marry someone who you thought
would help you win the support of people in your country but
this spouse turns out to be a bad match for you and he kills
someone you consider a good friend in front of you out of
jealousy, and even after you give birth to your spouse's child,
he still doesn't change his ways. In fact, he conspires against
you because he's unhappy with the marriage. And when your
spouse mysteriously dies, the people in your country think
you did it so they force you to give up your crown.
Finally, you get asylum in a country that's ruled by your
cousin but because your cousin doesn't follow your religion
and she feels threatened by the fact that you have a legal
claim to the throne, you're imprisoned for many years then
executed. This was the tragic life of Mary Queen of Scots.
She was devoted to Scotland, her native country and her Catholic
faith. But it was also her love life that led to her downfall
as we'll see later in the biography. Mary Queen of Scots was
a queen without a country because she wasn't welcomed in Scotland
and Queen Elizabeth I made
sure she never had the chance to become a monarch in England.
Mary Queen of Scots was born in 1542 to King James V and
Mary of Guise. When Mary was still an infant, her father died
and Mary became the Queen of Scots. Mary Queen of Scots's
mother was the sister of Henry VIII, and Mary was next in
line to the throne behind her Uncle Henry VIII's children
Mary, Elizabeth and Edward. In fact, Henry VIII wanted to
arrange a marriage between the future king Edward VI and Mary
Queen of Scots but since Mary was Catholic and Scotland was
a mostly Catholic nation at that time, some Catholic officials
didn't like this.
In addition, England invaded Scotland while Mary Queen of
Scots was still a child so the Scottish court sent her to
France, their longtime ally who shared the same Catholic faith.
At age fifteen Mary married the King of France Francis and
she became Queen of France as well as Scotland. Their marriage
was short-lived because the king died two years later, and
she returned to Scotland to begin her reign as the queen.
But she ran into problems while handling affairs of Scotland
because due to ministers like John Knox, Scotland increasingly
became Protestant and more intolerant of her Catholic faith.
In 1565, she married a Protestant man named Lord Darnley
and while she initially loved him, she also probably married
him because she sought to strengthen her claim to the English
throne, and she also wanted to gain support of the Scottish
nobility and the country's citizens. However, he treated her
badly and was jealous of any male advisors or friends she
had. In fact, he along with conspirators murdered her Italian
secretary Daniel Rizzio. She then gave birth to a son named
James VI but this did little to save their marriage.
When Lord Darnley was killed, the people of Scotland suspected
her of doing it, and she added to their suspicions by marrying
Earl of Bothwell three months after Lord Darnley's death.
Soon after this, there was an uprising against her, and Queen
Mary of Scots had to give up her throne. She fled to England
to seek asylum from her cousin Queen Elizabeth, but Queen
Elizabeth was very suspicious of Mary, particularly since
Mary was Catholic and a rightful heir to the English throne.
When Queen Elizabeth I uncovered plots by some English Catholics
to overthrow her and place Mary on the throne, Elizabeth imprisoned
and executed Mary Queen of Scots. King James VI became the
next king of Scotland.
There is a secret
you don't know
Besides the factual Mary Queen of Scots biography outlined
above, there is a terrible secret that has been kept in the
annals of history for hundreds of years. And that secret is
that Mary Queen of Scots was the first to participate in a
"fish slapping" contest way before Monte Python
was ever around.