Fact of the day: 19th August

On this day in 1561 18-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots, returned to Scotland after spending 13 years in France.

Mary, the only surviving legitimate child of King James V of Scotland, was 6 days old when her father died and she acceded to the throne. She spent most of her childhood in France while Scotland was ruled by regents, and in 1558, she married the Dauphin of France, Francis.

downloadHe ascended the French throne as King Francis II in 1559, and Mary briefly became queen consort of France, until his death on 5 December 1560. Widowed, Mary returned to Scotland, arriving in Leith on 19 August 1561.

Four years later, she married her first cousin, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, but their union was unhappy. In February 1567, his residence was destroyed by an explosion, and Darnley was found murdered in the garden.

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