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Monarchy Rules: Mary I of England

Mary I of England was born on February 18, 1516 at the palace of Placentia, Greenwich England. Mary was the only surviving child of Henry VIII of England and Catherine of Aragon. Mary’s mother had been pregnant at least six times and of the only four who survived birth Mary was the only one to survive into adulthood.

Mary was the center of her parent’s world, being doted on by her father every chance he had. Mary’s education being extremely serious by the age of nine Mary could read and write Latin and studied Spanish, French, dance and music. Despite being greatly loved by her father the marriage between her parents soon dissolved because her mother was unable to give her father the male heir he so desired.

On May 23, 1553 her father had his marriage to Mary’s mother annulled to marry Anne Boleyn and Mary was declared null and void. Throughout her adolescence Mary often moved throughout her father’s realm.

Mary’s relationship with her father greatly dissolved after his divorce from her mother and they would rarely spoke to each other. By the time her mother died in 1536 Mary wanted nothing to do with her father and it wasn’t until the death of Anne Boleyn 1536 the she and Henry began to repair their relationship.

Henry VIII died on January 28, 1547 and, Mary’s younger brother Edward ascended to throne at nine years old. Mary and Edward had a complicated relationship as Mary was a devout Catholic and Edward was Protestant.

Edward would have a short reign and died just six years later at the age of 15. Before his death Edward named his cousin Jane Grey as he did not want a Roman Catholic on the throne. Jane only ruled for nine days before Mary assembled a force and over through Jane, Beheading her and her husband.

Mary became Queen of England and Ireland on July 19, 1553 with her coronation being held on October 1, 1553. Shortly after becoming Queen Mary began to look for a husband. She considered over 50 possible candidates. Mary chose Philip II of Spain. Upon marriage to Philip Mary became Queen of Naples, Titular, and Jerusalem. Mary and Philip were married at Westminster Cathedral on July 25, 1554. This was two days after their first meeting. Philip could not speak English, so they spoke a mixture of Spanish, French and Latin. During their marriage Mary was believed to be pregnant twice but these proved to be false pregnancies, as a result, Mary was forced to except that Elizabeth was her lawful successor.

In 1558 Mary fell ill during an influenza epidemic and died on November 17, 1558 (aged 42) at St. James palace, London. Mary’s will stated that she wished to be buries next to her mother but instead was buried on December 14, 1558 at Westminster Abby, London in a tomb she eventually shared with her half-sister Elizabeth.

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