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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
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.


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