Mary Stuart Queen of Scots goes down in history as one of the youngest queens, at just six days old! Her father’s mysterious death placed the crown on her head because she was the only surviving heiress. Mary Stuart definitely lived an interesting life from her ascension to the throne, to her multiple marriages, and eventually her horrible death.
Here is the biography of this former Queen of Scotland as well as 5 interesting things that you probably never knew about her. To get all this information and even more, read on.
Who was Mary Stuart Queen of Scots?
Mary Stuart was born into the royal family of Scotland to King James V and Queen Mary of Guise on the 8th of December, 1542. She didn’t have any other siblings. Barely 6 days after she was born, her father died mysteriously and it was rumored that he suffered a nervous breakdown because he had lost at the Battle of Solway Moss which took place on November 1542 between his army and the English forces. Another explanation for his sudden death was that he had drunk water which was contaminated during his campaign. Whichever it was, we would probably never know. What we do know is that little Mary never got to meet her father before he passed on.
Shortly after her birth, Mary Stuart received her baptism at the Church of St Michael. There were rumors which circulated that as a child, Mary had been thin and weak. These rumors were discounted by Ralph Sandler, an English diplomat. According to him, she was as healthy as every other child he had ever seen. Because she was the only surviving child of her father, she inherited the throne as an infant. However, according to tradition, the Kingdom was ruled by Regents while she grew up in France. The position of Regent was haggled over between Catholic Cardinal Newton and Protestant Earl of Arran. Arran was the next in line to the throne and so became the Regent until Mary Stuart’s mother removed him and assumed the position in 1554.
5 Things You Didn’t Know About Mary Stuart Queen of Scots
Here are 5 interesting things you probably would never have guessed about Mary Stuart Queen of Scots
1. Her Physical Appearance
There aren’t always a lot of portraits of people who lived during the time of Mary Stuart. However, there usually is enough to describe what these people looked like. According to available portraits, Mary Stuart, during her life was an extremely beautiful woman with an oval-shaped head and a long graceful neck. She also had auburn colored hair and a high forehead. She smiled frequently and could be described as strikingly attractive with her hazel brown eyes and smooth skin. Even in height, she stood at a tall height of 5 feet 11 inches which is taller than the average woman.
2. Mary Stuart Had Three Marriages
Mary Stuart was married three times during her lifetime. At the age of 5, she was betrothed to the Dauphin of France named Francis and in 1558 she got married to him. 2 years after their marriage in 1560, Francis died and Mary Stuart returned to Scotland. In 1565, she got married to Henry Stuart, her half-cousin but in 1567, he was murdered. In 1567, she got married to the 4th Earl of Bothwell, James Hepburn but he died as well in 1578.
3. She was Multilingual
She wasn’t just the Queen of Scots for nothing. Mary Stuart was very eloquent during her lifetime. Accounts tell us that she was quite a talented linguist. She was fluent in English, Italian, Greek, Latin, French, and Spanish.
4. Mary Stuart Queen of Scots was Multitalented
Being multilingual wasn’t the only thing the Queen of Scots had in her arsenal. Turns out Mary Stuart was an extremely gifted woman. She was well known to be skilled in falconry, horsemanship, poetry, prose, and even needlework. Talk about talent!
5. Her Painful Death
While she sought refuge in England, many English Catholics considered her to be the legitimate ruler of England instead of her first cousin Queen Elizabeth I. As a result, she attempted to claim the throne in what is today known as the Rising of the North. She was unsuccessful and eighteen and half years later, was found guilty of plotting to assassinate the Queen. In 1586, she was beheaded at Fotheringhay Castle.