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Posthumous portrait of Mary Queen of Scots

The chambers at Holyrood are filled with items associated with Mary

Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-87)

Letter from Mary, Queen of Scots to Sébastien de l'Aubestpine, Bishop of Limoges and French Ambassador to Spain dated 28 May 1561

RCIN 1018596

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In this letter Mary, Queen of Scots pleads for protection following the death of her husband Francis II of France. With the death of her husband, Mary was relegated to Queen Dowager. Francis's younger brother, Charles IX (1550–74) became King of France and his mother, Catherine de Medici (1519–89), ruled as Regent. Looking to maintain her position, Mary had intentions to marry Don Carlos (1545–68), the unmarried heir to the Spanish throne. However, King Philip II of Spain was married to Elizabeth, daughter of Catherine de Medici, and thus there was little need for an additional alliance between Spain and France. Further, Catherine worried that if Mary went to Spain she would overshadow the young queen with her charms and good looks.

  • Creator(s)

    Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-87) (letter writer)

    Sébastien de l'Aubespine, Bishop of Limoges (1518-82) (letter recipient)