On this day in 1558 – Mary Queen of Scots was betrothed to Francis future King of France.

On 19th April 1558 Mary, daughter of King James V of Scotland was betrothed to Francis the Dauphin of France. Mary was queen of Scotland since she was six days old.

On 27th January 1548 in the Châtillon treaty the marriage of Mary and Francis was put forward and aged six Mary was sent to France to be bought up in the French court until she was old enough to marry. Mary left Scotland in the hands of regents.

Formally betrothed on 19th April 1558 the agreement allowed Scotland to maintained their traditional rights but when Francis ascends the throne Scotland would unite with France. However, if Mary died without the couple having any children the Scottish throne would go to the Earl of Arran. The wedding was set for 24th April where Mary and Francis were married at Notre Dame Cathedral by Cardinal of Rouen. Mary wore a long trained white dress accompanied with a Diamond necklace and a golden coronet adorned with jewels.

Francis ascended the throne in 1559 to become King Francis II and Mary became his queen consort. As Francis was only 15 when he ascended the throne and already in ill health he created a regency to reign on his behalf, he appointed his wife’s uncles the Duke of Guise and Cardinal of Lorraine along with his mother Catherine de’Medici. However, with his mother still in mourning for her husband all orders were given by Mary’s uncles. At the time of the wedding Mary signed a secret agreement that contradicted the betrothal agreement. Mary agreed that if she died childless then Scotland would stay in control of the French.

King Francis II died in December 1560 and once it was established that Mary was not carrying the heir to the French throne she returned to Scotland landing in Leith on 19th August 1561. Mary went on to remarry and give birth to a son who would unite the thrones of Scotland and England.

Francis and Mary

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