Who betrayed Mary, Queen Of Scots?

Her life story reads like a Shakespearean tragedy, a sorry tale of rape, murder and treachery. But who should take the blame for Mary, Queen of Scots' demise? As a film on Mary hits cinemas, Kate Williams, author of a new book on the ill-fated queen, sets out the case against six potential culprits – and Mary herself

Mary Stuart, shown here in a painting after Nicholas Hilliard, might have been a good queen, says Kate Williams, but the odds were stacked against her. (Image by Superstock)

The Guise family

Mary’s mother had her infant daughter packed off to France

Mary, Queen of Scots had the misfortune to ascend the Scottish throne at the very moment when the kings of England and France were eyeing her nation greedily – seeing in it the opportunity to extend their own power. And so, from the moment she was born (on 8 December 1542), Mary was exploited by two powerful kings – and also her own family.

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