For a queen, it’s not all jewels and castles and ordering the death of your enemies. Queen Mary I was a tragic historical figure who just couldn’t seem to catch a break.
* Her father divorced her dear mother, Catherine of Aragon. She had to watch as Anne Boleyn sashayed into her father’s life and she and her mother were practically demoted to riff-raff.
* Soon after, she had to wait on her little half-sister Elizabeth like a common servant. Her father disinherited her and she was no longer in line for the throne. This changed after Anne Boleyn lost her head: Elizabeth was the one removed from the succession and Henry’s next chickadee, Jane Seymour, showed affection for Mary and convinced Henry to reconcile with her. But when she’d finally spent some time as queen after all …
* She lost Calais, England’s last bit of land in France.
* She married a man who never loved her. In their four years of marriage, he barely spent any time with her at all.
* Proud Mary was a Catholic through and through, in a land which was slowly turning to Protestantism. Like her successor Elizabeth and all the kings of the Stuart dynasty to follow the Tudors, she had built-in enemies who disagreed with her religious beliefs and were constantly plotting to kill her over it. Talk about stress!
* She couldn’t have children, though she convinced herself she was pregnant several times. The final time she thought she had a baby growing inside her, that growth turned out to be a cancerous tumor. That was the end of Mary, at age 42.