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François Clouet: Portrait of Mary Stuart (1558-1560)

(Royal Collection, UK)
A painting by the French artist François Clouet (1510-1572). The tragic Mary Stuart (1542 – 1587), as the only surviving child of king James V of Scotland, she succeeded him when she was just six days old as Queen of Scotland. As she was to young to rule, a regency was formed led by James Hamilton, Duke of Châtellerault and 2nd Earl of Arran. King Henry VIII of England proposed a marriage between Mary and his own son and heir, Edward VI (hoping to break the Scottish-French alliance), which initially was accepted but later rejected by the Parliament of Scotland which led to war with England (the Rough Wooing, 1542-1551). The French king Henry II however proposed a marriage between Mary and his son, the dauphin Francis - uniting Scotland and France. With a promise of French military aid, the marriage proposal was accepted and the 5-year old Mary moved to France to live there a the French court until she was 18. In 1559 Mary married with king Francis II and became q…

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