Biography and curiosities of María Estuardo: life, relationships and death –

We are going to talk, throughout this article, about Mary Stuart, perhaps the most famous queen Scotland has ever had, and the vicissitudes she had throughout her long life, both in her native territory and in France. We will analyze her biography, her curiosities, her relationships and her death.

Who was Mary Stuart

Mary Stuart, Maria Stuart, by her native Scots name, was Queen Consort of France, Queen of Scotland, and titular Queen of England and Ireland. When she was only five years old, she moved to Gallic lands, where she spent her entire childhood and she married the Dauphin, who was crowned king as Francis II, but would die a year later. On her return to Scotland, she married twice, and had several power struggles, which led her to abdicate her son James VI. She was imprisoned by the Scottish nobles, but she managed to run away from her, so she asked England for help. However, she was accused of plotting to try to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I and she ended up being sentenced to death in the British capital.

Life of Mary Stuart

Mary Stuart was born at Linlithgow Palace, 24 kilometers northwest of Edinburgh, on December 8, 1542. Daughter of James V of Scotland and Mary of Lorraine, she became queen before she was a week old, since his father passed away prematurely. James Hamilton served as regent at this time. When she was five years old, she moved to France, a country that would end up marking her considerably. She read poetry in French and studied classical and Renaissance authors. She was engaged to the Dolphin, with whom she would end up marrying, although she died a year and a half later. During that time, 1559-1560, she was queen consort of France, having succeeded Catherine de’ Medici. Mary was also the second in line of succession to the throne of England, after her cousin Elizabeth I, although the Catholic Church said that the English monarch was a bastard, so the crown would legitimately belong to Mary Stuart.

After the death of her husband and her mother, she returns to Scotland, where as queen she has to face a somewhat tricky division of the country between Catholics and Protestants. She, a fervent Catholic, is accused of not defending her cause enough.

Meanwhile, the relationship with her cousin Elizabeth I remains rather bad, since the latter refuses to meet her Scotland.

Mary married Lord Darnley, her first cousin, also a Catholic, causing a Protestant revolt. Maria had a son with him, in 1556, Jacobo. Darnley, however, jealous of his friendship with Davide Rizzio, his private secretary, conspires against the queen and murders the supposed Pope’s spy. Just when it seemed that reconciliation was possible, Darnley is found dead.

The Earl of Bothwell, Mary’s third husband, seems to have been the instigator of Darnley’s murder, but the Scottish nobility rebels against both and Mary gives the throne to her son.

After being kidnapped and imprisoned in Loch Leven, María Estuardo manages to escape and flees to England, where her cousin, Elizabeth I, imprisons her.

After being removed from the line of succession, it appears that her page, Anthony Babington, is plotting to murder her cousin. María Estuardo is sentenced to death and died on February 8, 1587, at Fotheringhay Castle, at the age of 45. She put on a red dress to be considered a Catholic martyr.

Relationships of Mary Stuart

María Estuardo was married for the first time to Francisco II of France, who died a year and a half after their marriage, which had been arranged for some time. A death, which caused France to recognize the legitimacy of Elizabeth I, to rule England. We can say that she had three relationships, or at least three marriages.

Back in Scotland, she married Henry Stuart, Duke of Albany, alias Lord Darnley, and also a descendant of Henry VII of England, thus his cousin. Darnley asked for the title of king, and being an English nobleman this marriage angered Elizabeth I, who considered that she had to authorize this marriage. After appearing, supposedly murdered Darnley, after having killed Davide Rizzio, of which there were rumors that he had an affair with Maria Stuart. In 1566, she had given birth to the heir to the throne, James I of England and VI of Scotland, at Edinburgh Castle from her relationship with Darnley.

Her third husband was James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, allegedly implicated in Darnley’s death, who would end up spending his last days in Denmark.

Mary Stuart in power

María Estuardo was in power, in two different territories. Although it is true that she was trained in France, the sudden death of her husband caused her to direct the destinies of the Gallic country for a year and a half. In Scotland, she was queen from 1542, when she acceded to the throne, only a week old, until 1567, when she was forced to abdicate in favor of her son James.

His presence on the Scottish throne was very turbulent, since the country was always at war, between the nobles on one side and the other, since the Catholic and Protestant factions were deeply opposed, something that has come down to modern times. In France, on the other hand, he had a more placid period.

Death of Mary Stuart

Maria Estuardo dies executed, after being declared guilty by treason, being decapitated in 1857 in the castle of Fotheringhay. Palace intrigues are part of the society of the time and of the power struggles that ended up having that tragic end. Initially, she was buried in Peterborough Cathedral, but later, she was moved to Westminster Abbey, London, where she lies just 30 feet from her cousin, Elizabeth I.

Curiosities of Maria Stuart

The life of María Estuardo leaves us many curiosities about it. She was a tremendously cultured person, as apart from her native Scottish, she spoke Spanish, Latin, French, Greek and Italian. She also cultivated prose, sewing, horsemanship and falconry. On her formal clothes, she had the phrase, in Scots ‘In my end is my beginning’, while she draws her attention to her disguising herself as a washerwoman, to escape her captivity at Loch Leven.

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