Mary Queen of Scots & Queen Elizabeth I. If only they could have been friends.
I recently came across some gorgeous photos from Harper’s Bazaar with model’s posing as the rival queen cousins, Mary Stuart and Elizabeth Tudor. This got me thinking about the turbulent relationship between the two women and I thought I’d jot a quick blog about it.
Mary looked up to her dear cousin, Elizabeth, who was nine years older than she. She wrote to her often, entreating her for guidance and trying her hardest to please Elizabeth in her choice for a second husband.
The two queens exchanged gifts with their letters and Mary also attempted to arrange a meeting with Elizabeth but it never worked out.
But as Elizabeth dithered on her choices for Mary and drug her feet after suggesting Mary marry Elizabeth’s favorite, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, the Scottish queen decided to take matters into her own hands. Relations quickly deteriorated between the Cousin Queens when Mary exerted her right to choose her own husband. <enter Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley>
Mary tried to persuade Elizabeth many times to name her as her heir, especially the older Elizabeth got and it became apparent that she would never marry and birth a child. At one point Elizabeth even admitted that she preferred Mary over another cousin and heir-in-line, the Protestant Lady Katherine Grey. Lady Katherine was the granddaughter of Henry VIII’s youngest sister, Mary.
When Mary fled to England to escape the wrath of her Scottish lords, she still held out hope that she would find favor with her cousin. But it was not meant to be.
Elizabeth had Mary arrested and held her under house arrest for the next 19 years before signing Mary’s death warrant. Mary was beheaded with her cousin’s approval, at the age of 44.
Although portrayed together in paintings, movies, and photos, the two queens never met.
To see the rest of the photos in this beautiful photo shoot, click here.