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François Clouet (c. 1520-1572)

Mary, Queen of Scots c. 1560-61

RCIN 403429

Mary, Queen of Scots is shown, aged 18, in white mourning to mark the loss of her father-in-law, Henry II, her mother, Mary of Guise, and her husband, Francis II, in a period of 18 months. Contemporary writers celebrated the beauty of the Queen’s white skin and her white mourning dress, only worn by high-ranking women, as she returned to Scotland in 1561.