Background on Mary, Queen of Scots

The tv show Reign is based solely on Mary’s life so I would like to give some background information on the real Mary and not the fictional one. The show and what is historically accurate differ so I am going to give some facts on the actual Mary, Queen of Scots. She was also know as Mary Stuart and reigned Scotland from December 14, 1542 to July 24, 1567. She was only six days old when her father, King James V of Scotland, died making her Queen. She spent most of her childhood living in France while Scotland was ruled by regents. Which is someone appointed to rule a country because the reigning monarch is to young. She married the Dauphin of France, Francis II, in 1558. After Francis’s father, King Henry II, died in a jousting accident Francis became King in 1559 at the age of 15. Mary then briefly became queen consort of France until his death in December 1560. Mary returned to Scotland in 1561 and married her cousin Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. They were very unhappy. He was found murdered in February 1567 after their residence exploded. Mary married James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell a few months after Darnley’s murder. Bothwell was believed to have killed him. Mary was imprisoned following an uprising against the couple. She was forced to give up her throne in favor of her one- year- old son by Darnley, James VI. She seeked protection from her first cousin, Queen Elizabeth I of England, after unsuccessfully trying to regain her throne. Mary had at one time claimed Elizabeth’s throne as her own and was seen as the legitimate ruler of England. Seeing Mary as a threat, Elizabeth imprisoned her in various castles and manors in England. After 18 and a half years Mary was found guilty of trying to kill Elizabeth and was beheaded.


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