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Why Mary, Queen of Scots Was the Superior Queen

Mary, Queen of Scots was a remarkable ruler. Not only was she a strong, independent female monarch in an era dominated by men and for men, but she ruled and fought for Scotland like no other. With a plethora of TV shows and movies based on her nearly 400 years later, it’s no wonder that she was an astonishing Queen who left a lasting legacy. 

If you know me, you know I love reading about royalty and the backstabbing, malicious monarchy era in 16th and 17th century Europe. When I discovered the CW show Reign in 2016, I instantly became infatuated with Mary, Queen of Scots and her life in France. Although Reign was historically incorrect in many aspects, the main story of Mary, Elizabeth, and the French royals holds true in the show. 

For those of you who don’t know the story, here’s a brief summary of the main points of Mary’s reign: Mary, Queen of Scots was born in 1542 and was a beautiful Queen who ascended to the throne at a mere 6 days old when her father, James V, died. Because of her claim to the English throne, she was targeted by the English who wanted her dead. Betrothed to the Dauphin of France, Francis, she married him in Paris at Notre Dame and unlike most royal marriages, in which they’re mainly a political alliance for power, Mary and Francis were deeply in love and had a wonderful marriage. That is, until Francis tragically died from an ear infection, leaving Mary a widow and on her own to secure the power of Scotland as it fell into the hands of the Protestants after religious reforms led by John Knox. 

Unsplash/ Pro Church Media

Her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I, loathed Mary because Elizabeth, to some, was considered illegitimate and not the true Queen of England. Elizabeth was bastardized after the execution of her mother, Anne Boleyn. Some said that Mary was the rightful Queen of England as the granddaughter of Henry VIII’s older sister Margaret. This caused Elizabeth to do everything she could to make Mary’s life horrible. Mary fought valiantly for Scotland and was a true and honorable Queen, but her fight for Scotland was ultimately crushed.

Years later, Mary fled Scotland seeking shelter in England with Elizabeth, but instead, she was held in captivity for 19 years. At the age of 44, Mary was beheaded on orders from Elizabeth. 

Here’s why Mary, Queen of Scots is the superior Queen:

She was a strong and independent woman during a time when men dominated.

Mary’s story is one of tragedy, murder, love, mystery, and drama. Mary was well ahead of her time when it came to fighting for her rights as a woman in the 16th century. Mary loved Scotland and France and didn’t stand idly by in any political business. 

Mary was very outgoing and did activities that women likely wouldn’t have been seen doing in the 16th century.

As the first known female to play golf, Mary loved to play an early version the game while she was in France. As a woman, playing outdoor games was usually seen as taboo, but Mary was highly outgoing.

She was religiously tolerant in a time when religion dictated your life.

Mary tried to uphold the Protestant establishment as a devout Catholic, but it would not satisfy the Protestant leadership and ultimately led to Scotland becoming a Protestant nation. 

Mary, Queen of Scots is legendary and paved the way for female monarchs. No matter how much I read about her, I’m still eager to learn more about her tragic life. 

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Amber is a junior at Boston University studying Journalism and Advertising from Los Angeles, California. She loves reading Vogue, going to Disneyland, sipping lattes at trendy cafes, and anything and everything Harry Styles. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her binge-watching Gilmore Girls, baking fall-inspired treats, or hanging out with her sorority sisters. After she graduates, she hopes to attend law school or work in the fashion and media industry.
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