Mary, Queen of Scots

8 December 2011

Today is the anniversary of Mary, Queen of Scots’ birth in 1542. I am breaking my self imposed ban on Tudor posts to bring you eight things that I have in common with poor old Queen Mary and also a relatively amusing reminisce:

1. We are both half Scottish.

2. We were both born in Scotland to a Scottish father and a foreign mother. In my case English, which isn’t half so romantic as French but you can’t have everything can you?

3. We have the same colouring: red hair, pale skin and hazel eyes. Sadly, I do not have her height though – Mary was almost 6′ and I am 5′ 3″ AND A HALF. I don’t have her pulchritude either – the nicest thing anyone has ever said about my looks is that I am ‘a bit plain’. You don’t want to hear the worst things…

4. We both love France. I too have been known to hang on to the railings of ferries in a sorrowful manner while trying to catch my last glimpse of the French coast. Nowadays I travel to Paris by plane and have my eyes screwed shut for the duration of the flight but it’s the thought that counts.

5. We both left Scotland for England as young women, never to return. I moved with my grandparents in rather boring circumstances though as opposed to Mary who fled in the dead of night.

6. Mary once visited Forres, the town where I was born. I expect she played golf there. She seemed to play a lot of golf. I do not like golf. Nor do I enjoy hawking, which was another favoured pastime.

7. I once spent the night in one of her beds in a town called Jedburgh on the Scottish borders. It was absolutely enormous! I was about eight at the time and my grandparents thought it would be an enormous treat for me to sleep in Queen Mary’s bed, although they were also slightly concerned that I would find it terribly creepy. They need not have worried: a fire alarm went off during the night and I was so comfy that I managed to sleep through it.

8. We are both rather partial to younger men. Possibly, and I am donning my Amateur Psychologist Hat here, because we both lost our fathers before, as Draco Malfoy would say, we were old enough to wipe the drool off our chins. Lots of people think this leads to a later proclivity for older men – I am bound to disagree. My husband (who is eight years my junior – hahaha, yes, I am a COUGAR) is MUCH nicer than Lord Darnley though – he doesn’t have small pox and have to go about in a silly mask for a start and, to my knowledge, he has never colluded in the murder of any lute players.

My grandmother had a friend who was a bit mad and absolutely CONVINCED that she was the reincarnation of Queen Mary. No, I don’t know why. No, she bore no resemblance at all. Anyway, she hated me when I was a girl because of my colouring and a vague similarity around the eyes. My nickname for her was therefore, naturally, ‘Queen Elizabeth’.