Monday, February 23, 2015

British Queens and the Virgin Mary

From Confessions of a Ci-devant:
Marie de Guise, the statuesque French widow who famously rejected Henry VIII's clumsy proposal of marriage by making a thinly-veiled quip about poor Anne Boleyn, went on to marry Henry's estranged nephew, King James V of Scotland, a man torn between his twin desires for flesh and faith. Marie had just given birth to their only surviving child, Mary, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception 1542, when James sickened and died, apparently broken by Scotland's defeat at the hands of the English army. Threatened by Henry VIII, Marie sent her daughter to France to live with her French family, the Guises, arguably the most powerful non-reigning clan in Europe at the time. Eventually, a marriage was arranged with the young girl to the French Dauphin. Back in Scotland, Marie held on to the reins of government in her daughter's name. It was a thankless task for which she was vilified by the new Protestant sect known as Presbyterianism, which originated in Scotland and which viewed the French-born Catholic queen regent as an evil strumpet. Pious and dignified, Marie died at Edinburgh Castle of oedema at the age of forty-four. (Read more.)

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