Better known as simply Mary, Queen of Scots, Mary was crowned queen before she was even a year old in 1542. At an extremely young age she was betrothed to Edward, Henry VIII's only son, but by the time she reached five years of age the Scots had decided to avoid such an arrangement with England and sent Mary to France with the intent of having her marry Francis, the four-year-old Dauphin who was heir to the French throne.
In 1558 she married Francis and was considered to be the most beautiful princess in Europe. During that year, Queen Mary I of England passed away and Henry II of France encouraged his daughter-in-law to assume the royal arms of England. It was widely believed that Mary Stuart was the next in line for the English throne. This did not sit well with Elizabeth I, the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, who was crowned Queen of England after her half-sister's death.
The following year, Mary and her husband were crowned King and Queen of France upon the death of Henry II, although their royal happiness was short-lived. Mary's mother and husband both died shortly afterwards, and Mary returned to rule over Scotland. A fair queen, Mary was loved by the common people but loathed by the nobles.
In 1565 she married Henry Stuart, a royal cousin, whom she wed in matrimony but did not name as King. He would later become jealous of her power and attempt to kill her. They did produce an heir, James VI of Scotland. This was also unsettling to Elizabeth I, who was unwed and without an heir.
In 1586 the final showdown between Mary Stuart and Elizabeth I would take place as Mary was brought to trial for plotting to kill the Queen of England and assume the throne. The trial was simply a formality, the verdict having been decided well before the proceedings, and Mary was found guilty and sentenced to death. She was beheaded on February 8, 1587. Her small dog was found hidden in the fabric of the deceased Queen's gown immediately after her execution.
ABOUT THE DOLL
This commemorative mannequin of Mary of Scots stands approx. 30" tall with stand and weighs about 20 pounds. The mannequin is 30" wide from elbow to elbow. Mary is dressed in a simple red silk gown similar to the one she has been described as wearing for her execution. The neckline and sleeves are trimmed with narrow red lace. In her right hand she holds a strand of white beads and metal discs that ends with a small cross composed of ruby gemstones.
She holds her battered severed head in her left arm, bits of straw and grit still remain on her face and hair where her head struck the scaffold floor after the executioner's bungle. Her hair is grey and is cut short, and her glassy eyes are fringed with blood-matted lashes. The severed areas reveal both spinal bone and esophagus with slight displacement to reflect on the two blows of the axe needed to decapitate her.