In medieval England, two families fought for the crown: the Tudors and the Stewarts (also spelt Steuart or Stuart) were related by blood, but their struggle came to a head with Mary Queen of Scots and her cousin Elizabeth I both staked a claim for the English throne. This great rivalry between the daughters of Henry VIII and James V has painted Mary as feisty, impulsive, and “a bad woman” in the history books—but what was she really like?
Scots at the time (due to their somewhat chaotic recent history) may have been thought of as brash and hostile, but Mary was quite the opposite. She was demure, elegantly tall, and well-educated, primarily thanks to her French upbringing from age five, where she was exposed to all the finery and dignity of the French court.
Ascending to the throne over 200 years after it was reclaimed by the Scots by her very own ancestor King Robert the Bruce, the far-from-brutish Mary had a lot of heroism to live up to.
Mary set the trend of wearing white for weddings when it was traditionally a colour of mourning.
We’re here to set the record straight on some of Mary’s finer points (as well as her flaws) and explore how Mary Queen of Scots may spend her days—and how the clans would receive her—if she ruled over the Highlands in Conquerors Blade...
How Do You Solve a Problem Like Mary?
While Mary was said to be a “strong leader”, her obsession with gaining the English throne and willingness to accept her advisors’ guidance as gospel led her subjects to dislike her. Historian Dr Wormald revealed that Mary was unsuitable for her position and simply unwilling to try to govern, mostly because of her wanting for the English crown. This possible distaste for her own country lead to this complaint from Mary herself:
“My subjects in Scotland do their duty in nothing, nor have they performed their part in one thing that belongeth to them. I am their queen, and so they call me, but they do not use me so…They must be taught to know their duties.”
As the Highlanders fight for their freedom from encroaching Loegrian forces, they may also detest a monarch seeking to rule elsewhere and couldn’t make her own decisions.
There’s Something About Mary
Astrologists will be intrigued to discover that Mary Queen of Scots was a true Sagittarius—defined by her fun-loving and social personality. Mary cast aside the tradition of the shy retiring female monarch and became the first woman to play golf in Scotland when she teed off at St. Andrews, the oldest golf course in the world. Rumours suggest that she coined the term “caddie” when using military cadets to carry her clubs.
Mary also engaged in other unsightly hobbies such as disguising herself as a stable boy and exploring the streets of Edinburgh at night (Princess Jasmine, is that you?).
Yes, Mary’s free-spirited personality may have been seen as a hindrance by some, but we think the Highland clans would relish a queen who indulged in a bit of fun every now and then. Perhaps she would even join the Houndsmen on their hunting expeditions or dance along to the Bagpipers tunes.
While Mary may not have ruled with an iron fist like her cousin Elizabeth, and her upbringing delightfully posh, we think the clan chieftains would accept Mary with open arms, and perhaps even support her conquest for the English throne.