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"I was not born for happiness, excellency."
— Princess Mary

Princess Mary Tudor is the only surviving child of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, as well as the oldest of the King's children; notably, she is the only female character apart from Catherine Brooke to appear in all four seasons, although she played by a different actress during Season One, in which her role is only a brief one. The Irish actress Sarah Bolger plays her in an award-winning role. She appears as a recurring character in Seasons 2, 3 and 4 of The Tudors, spanning some 23 episodes. Mary's personality changes overtime, mainly due to her father's various marriages (which dramatically affect her social rank, despite being the legitimate daughter of a King) and her own devoutly Catholic beliefs; she goes from being a cheerful, carefree little girl to a reserved, privately resentful young woman. Had her mother Catherine (with whom Mary had a very loving relationship) lived longer, Mary might have continued a more cheerful disposition, but Catherine died while Mary was still a teenager. Mary had either hostile or at least mistrustful relationships with all her subsequent stepmothers except Jane Seymour, who died after only a year and a half of marriage to Henry, and Anne of Cleves. Mary loved her half-siblings Elizabeth and Edward, becoming a mother figure to them in the absence of stable wives. She was particularly fond of Elizabeth, seen as the only one to be able to stop the child from crying in Season 2.

As Henry is often absent or ineffective as a parent (despite Mary's continued love for him and vice versa), she finds a devoted friend and father-figure in the Imperial Ambassador, Eustace Chapuys.  She maintains the royal title of Princess Mary until being demoted to simply Lady Mary, although she is later restored to the Royal Line. She would eventually become Mary I, becoming the first recognized Queen Regnant of England; and the first to get crowned and avoid getting deposed. The first two Queen Regnant’s, Matilda and Jane, were deposed before they could have their coronation. Unfortunately, however, today her short reign is remembered unfavorably, mainly due to subsequent Protestant propaganda. Her exaggerated religious persecution has been coined with the nickname "Bloody Mary," despite the fact that she killed less heretics than either her predecessor or successor.

Season One[]

Mary appears in a few episodes early in Season 1 as a little girl. A descendant of the Royal houses of Tudor (England, Ireland and Wales) and Trastámara (Spain) she is introduced as the young daughter on whom Henry and Catherine shower affection. She is initially supposed to be married to the Dauphin of France, who is about the same age (whom she kisses and then knocks over when they first meet, to Henry's amusement), but when personal tensions develop between her father and King Francis at a summit, she is instead betrothed to King Charles V of Spain (also the Holy Roman Emperor), her mother's nephew who is more than a decade older than her. The marriage is deliberately put off by both parties because Mary is far too young, with the stipulation that the wedding will commence after Mary's 12th birthday. However, a combination of events causes Charles to breach the pact, despite his affection for Henry as he is married to Catherine (Charles' aunt). Charles manages to capture the King of France in a battle, but decides it is a good political move to release him, angering Henry. Charles is also mildly uneasy about a cousin marriage. The final nail in the coffin that ruins the arranged marriage is when Charles courts (and ultimately marries) a Portuguese princess, citing that she was closer to age to him than Mary and that he could not wait any longer to have a woman.

As a child Mary has a sweet, innocent personality that shows her later generosity; everyone who meets her (including Anne Boleyn, briefly) treats her with kindness.

However, Mary is increasingly separated from her mother thanks to the machinations of Catherine's enemy Cardinal Wolsey; her position as heir is also threatened by Henry's bastard son Henry Fitzroy, but the little boy soon dies during a sweating sickness outbreak.  Despite the initially happy marriage between Mary's parents and the love they each have for her, Henry longs for a son, worrying Mary will not be seen as a proper heir despite being his legitimate child. Catherine's failure to produce a living son causes Henry to subsequently destroy the marriage. Mary is largely oblivious to the political machinations that revolve around her family, but by episode 1.05, when she is sent to live separately from her mother, she begins to realize something is wrong. Henry continues to recognize Mary as his daughter despite attempting to annul his marriage to Catherine, arranging a tentative betrothal between her and the Duke of Orleans (King Francis' second son) in episode 1.06, to solidify his new alliance with France. Despite having broken his marriage pact with her, Emperor Charles continues to show concern for her and her mother's well-being.

Season Two[]

Mary arrives at Hatfield, Elizabeth's home

Upon her father's new marriage to Anne Boleyn in Season Two, Mary—now in her teens—is seen as a bastard due to the annulment of her mother's marriage, making way for Elizabeth Tudor to become the future heir. After openly refusing to recognize anyone except Catherine as the Queen in episode 2.03 (her first appearance since Season One), she loses virtually all her status (though retaining her property of Ludlow Castle in the Welsh Marches) and is permanently separated from her mother at Anne's urging, becoming a lady-in-waiting to her infant half-sister Elizabeth in 2.04. Mary endures this new position with surprising dignity (though her health suffers a few times) but she remains resentful, and Queen Anne's one veiled insulting attempt to make peace with her is rebuffed, causing Anne to grow paranoid and hostile towards her. Henry refuses to acknowledge Mary, yet he clearly still cares about her—he sends the royal physician to care for her when she is ill, and when departing after a visit to the baby Elizabeth, he sees Mary watching him and bows to her (something a King does not normally do, but likely showing he has some belief in their relationship as father and daughter).

Mary rejects Queen Anne Boleyn (left)

Catherine dies in episode 2.07 after four years of separation from her daughter, much to Mary's grief; she receives a box containing some of Catherine's personal items, including jewelry from the royal house of Spain, Catherine's home country. Mary's distaste for Anne Boleyn is shared by the Imperial Court and the Papacy (though not by the French) but neither are able to help her directly. In particular, the Savoyard Imperial Ambassador Chapuys is extremely sympathetic to both her and her mother, and attempted to carry messages for them on many occasions. Regardless of his feelings and dealings concerning her father, the King (towards whom he has a rather low opinion in private), Chapuys remains a devoted friend and confidant to Mary in Seasons 2, 3 and 4. Towards the end of the season, both the French and the Spanish attempt to make deals with Henry that hinge on betrothals involving Mary, indicating they still view her as the legitimate heir over Elizabeth; however, although he hesitates, Henry still refuses to make her legitimate again, angry that France and Spain will not accept his annulment and remarriage. Despite this setback, Mary is visibly relieved when Chapuys visits her in the season two finale: her nemesis Anne Boleyn has been accused of adultery and treason, and is now sentenced to death. With Henry's marriage to Anne annulled, Mary's half-sister Elizabeth is now just as 'illegitimate' as she is.

Season Three[]

Mary dances with Duke Philip of Bavaria, with whom she fell in love despite his Protestantism

At the start of Season Three, Mary hopes for reconciliation with her father thanks to the influence of his new wife Jane Seymour, who like her is a Catholic. However, she is first ordered by Sir Francis Bryan to sign an oath acknowledging Henry as Head of the Church, under the threat of death, something she has long avoided due to her strong Catholic beliefs. Mary initially refuses to do this despite Bryan's urgency, and asks Chapuys to request the support of her cousin Emperor Charles V, but Chapuys, despite sharing her Catholic convictions, informs her the Emperor can't help her because he's seeking a new alliance with England. Under the influence of Thomas Cromwell and other ruthless reformists, her father might be convinced to put her to death, so out of fear and despair she signs the document, asking Chapuys to help her secretly acquire Papal absolution; an act she would regret for the rest of her life. Jane Seymour makes it clear she wants Mary restored to favor and that she favored Mary's mother Catherine as Queen, and at the end of the episode Henry and Jane welcome her back to court; Mary is not restored to the Succession, but she is reconciled with her father and quickly becomes friends with Jane.   Inspired by Jane's generosity, Mary helps reconcile her little sister Elizabeth with Henry in 3.03. Despite Elizabeth being the daughter of her former enemy Anne Boleyn, this reconciliation works in Mary's favor as Henry is joyful to be reunited with his younger daughter akin to "daddy's little girl". However, in the next episode she, Henry and Elizabeth are saddened when Jane dies after giving birth to Henry's son Edward. While loyal to her father, Mary privately shows sympathy for the persecuted Catholic rebels during the Pilgrimage of Grace, as shown by her secret meeting with Robert Aske; when the movement is brutally crushed and Aske is hanged, she and Chapuys express sadness over his fate in episode 3.04. In 3.05, after Jane's demise, Mary tells Lady Margaret Bryan (the former governess of Elizabeth and Edward's new caregiver) that she will be a mother to Edward, so he might know Jane threw her. She also intends to return to her country estates and spend some time with Elizabeth, as she, Henry and Edward are Mary's only surviving family in England.

Mary is dismayed to learn that Philip has been sent back to Bavaria

In episode 3.08, Mary falls deeply in love with Duke Philip of Bavaria (whom she is introduced to by his cousin, Queen Anne of Cleves), and is left devastated when he is sent away by her father despite claiming she would not have considered marrying him due to his Lutheranism. In Seasons 3, with her return to court, Mary is shown to be beloved by the people, especially the Catholic sects in the northeast that are persecuted by her father and Cromwell. In particular, she blames Cromwell for the executions of her former governess Margaret Pole and her family (though in fact the two people most responsible for these executions were Edward Seymour and Henry himself). Angered that Cromwell arranged for Henry to marry a Protestant princess, Mary views him as an agent of the Devil (due to his support of the Reformation) and remarks on more than one occasion that she would like to see him burned for heresy. Unsurprisingly, therefore, she shows no grief when he is executed in the season finale "The Undoing of Cromwell".

Season Four[]

Mary is cheered by the North (Season 4)

Mary and her new archnemesis, Queen Katherine Howard (left)

In the fourth and final season of the series, Mary's father remarries twice. Despite hating her father's fifth wife, Katherine Howard, Mary becomes rather close to his sixth and final wife Catherine Parr, although she confides to Chapuys that she knows Catherine is a Protestant (and therefore, in her eyes, a heretic). In episode 4.06 after Katherine Howard has been executed, Mary is told both her and Elizabeth have been restored to the Succession. She jubilantly goes to tell Elizabeth of the matter, and even curtsies to her sister calling her “Queen Elizabeth.” However, the two sisters remain after their brother Edward. Elizabeth does not share her enthusiasm, and informs her that she has taken a vow never to marry, which confuses Mary.

During this season, with the feud between the Lutheran and Catholic factions of Court at its peak, Mary becomes frustrated with the Lutheran factions, and laments her wishes that the country might be healed to Catholic faith, at whatever cost, even bloodshed. Her resentment for Protestantism, formed by her mother’s fate, eventually gets the better of her friendship with Catherine Parr when she privately supports an investigation that could have resulted in Catherine being tried and executed for heresy, even though Catherine was never anything but kind to her. 

Mary in Season Four with her loyal friend, Ambassador Eustace Chapuys

Mary dances with a Spanish military officer

Although Mary loyally views her younger brother as the true heir, Ambassador Chapuys and later Bishop Gardiner confide in her that many view her as a more official heir to the throne, since Edward's mother Jane Seymour was never officially crowned Queen of England; they also clearly hope she will restore Catholicism to England. In Season 4, Episode 8, she is sad to see Chapuys (who is by now greatly weakened by gout in his old age) retire and return to Spain, though they part as good friends; in the next episode she is informed that he has died.  With Chapuys' gone, she is tempted by the Bishop Stephen Gardiner, a ruthless Catholic fundamentalist with unequaled fanaticism.  When her father (who is nearing his death) bids his family a loving farewell in the series finale, despite her differences with Catherine Parr, Mary holds Catherine's hand and weeps with her; she notices that her sister Elizabeth does not join them in crying, but calmly leaves.  Henry also sees Mary in a vision with her mother Catherine of Aragon in the final episode, both dressed identically in mourning gowns.  Mary stands silently while Catherine rebukes Henry for not being a good father to her, saying she ought to have been married and had children of her own by now. Mary is briefly shown in Henry's final flashback, both as a little girl and a teenager. Henry picks the younger Mary up and happily twirls her around as Catherine watches; subsequently, she is shown reconciling and reuniting with her father and Jane Seymour at court.

Mary laments her frustrations.

Brother's Reign[]

Although she didn't battle the succession of her brother after her father's death in 1547, Mary largely withdrew from court life during Edward's reign, perhaps to demonstrate her disapproval of the extensive religious reforms introduced by Edward and his Regency council. She spent most of those years in her own estates, continuing to openly practice Catholicism in defiance of Edward's Protestant agenda. While Edward did not actually punish her for refusing to follow his religious laws (unlike other Catholic nobles in his court) he frequently demanded that she stop defying him and reproved her for her refusal to convert, culminating in a Christmas meeting in 1550 where Edward (then aged 13) reduced both himself and the 35-year-old Mary to tears.

Three years later, Edward fell fatally ill with tuberculosis, which left Mary as his heir. Fearing that, as a Catholic, she would undo his Protestant reforms, he dropped both Mary and their half-sister Elizabeth from the line of succession, on the grounds that they had both previously been declared illegitimate; instead, he and the Privy Council nominated Henry VIII's grand-niece Lady Jane Grey (a Protestant) as his heir. Mary was summoned to court just before Edward's death, but she was warned that it was a pretext to capture her and prevent her from interfering with the succession; therefore, she instead fled to her estates in East Anglia and began gathering supporters. Three days after Edward's death on July 6, Mary wrote the Privy Council a letter declaring herself Edward's heir; it arrived in London the next day, the same day Jane Grey was declared Queen by the Privy Council. Despite Mary's religious differences from the growing Protestant population, most people felt that Mary as a true Tudor had the stronger claim to the throne.

By now, Mary had assembled a military force led by the Catholic nobles who supported her, as well as her Protestant half-sister Elizabeth, and they began marching toward London on July 12. Members of the Privy Council, realizing how unstable their position was, deposed Jane Grey on July 19 and imprisoned her, her husband and her supporters in the Tower of London. After arriving in London on August 3, Mary set about reorganizing her government, before finally being formally crowned on October 1, 1553.

Mary's Reign and Aftermath[]

Although she had widespread popularity on her accession and during her reign, Elizabeth’s successor, James VI, tarnished her image to motivate the Protestants, quietly encouraged by Elizabeth. Her first act was to declare her mother’s marriage legitimate. Despite later accounts declaring that she quickly stripped the Privy Council and the senior clergy of Protestants, she only replaced the ones who moved against her with Catholics (including Stephen Gardiner, Thomas Howard the Duke of Norfolk, and her cousin Reginald Pole) so that Catholics would hold a slight majority over the almost evenly split council. As Mary grew older her lack of children for heirs, as well as accounts of strong maternal instincts she became stressed. Mary pushed her Catholic ideals quite gently at first, allowing England to gradually return to the faith and traditions of her childhood, but in her stress she became more urgent. Most prominent Protestant clergymen were actually offered incentives to convent, and only imprisoned on charges of treason or heresy if they refused, though Mary's first Parliament abolished nearly all Edward and Henry's religious laws. She did win an important concession from the Pope: in exchange for her bringing England back to the Catholic fold, Mary substantially reduced the revenues traditionally sent to Rome. She largely left alone the church lands that had been confiscated and re-sold under her predecessors, in order to avoid alienating the new nobility that ruled over them.

Mary's also ruled that a Queen regnant had the same power as a king, an act that is still in effect, and largely benefited Elizabeth who didn’t need to worry for her legitimacy. However, Mary was the first female ruler of England, so she was forced to choose a husband, a decision that badly damaged her support from English Catholics and Protestants alike: she announced her intention to marry her first cousin once removed, Philip of Naples (soon to become King Philip II of Spain). In addition to the Protestants' fear of increased persecution by Catholics (given the scale of the Inquisition in Spain and its' territories) most English opposed the marriage because it made England seem a dependency of the much more powerful Spain, and (if Mary bore Philip's child) would make England merely a province of the Spanish Empire. In January 1554, the Protestants voiced their disapproval by an open rebellion led by Thomas Wyatt the Younger, but it ultimately collapsed as it approached London. Enraged by the rising, Mary had all the plotters, as well as Jane Grey and her husband, executed. Her half-sister Elizabeth was at least aware of the rebellion, as she was their chosen queen, and historians argue over the idea that she may have orchestrated the entire affair. Mary was forced to ceremonially imprison her beloved sister to sway further turmoil, but she released her after two months and Elizabeth returned to court. Mary actually was given so much evidence against Elizabeth that the warrant for her arrest was written. Mary had the pen in her hand to sign the execution request, but she was visibly attacked by a fit of conscience and found she could not bring herself to sign it. After the rebellion, Mary's reintroduced medieval heresy laws though despite popular belief they were not actually fully enforced. In total, nearly three hundred Protestants were burned during Mary's short reign, though Elizabeth would kill and torture far more Catholics, and Henry during the English Reformation would kill approximately 1,500 Catholics per year. Her hateful moniker "Bloody Mary" Was bestowed upon her by avid Protestant James VI, and the propagandists who complied the “Book of Martyrs.” These lies were used to demonize Catholics and would lead to widespread persecution resulting in Catholics losing land, the right to vote, and the right to hold office.

Despite protests from Parliament, Mary and Philip were married on July 25, 1554. Although Mary retained the authority of a ruling monarch, Philip was made Regent in the event of her death without an heir, and during her reign he acquired a stronger influence over her court. While Mary loved her husband, Philip only married her for political advantage; he very rarely visited her or showed her affection. Despite Mary experiencing several false pregnancies, the couple ultimately had no children; humiliated and increasingly depressed, Mary blamed her lack of issue as a curse for having "tolerated heretics", because she had been so lenient during the beginning of her reign, along with her signing of the papers where she denounced Rome. The alliance with Spain brought England no advantage; the Spanish refused to give them any extra benefits from their trade routes to their American colonies, and England was drawn into another war with France due to the Valois-Habsburg rivalry. In 1558, this war ultimately cost England the port of Calais, it's last Continental territory. While this actually benefited England in the long run (given how expensive Calais was to fortify and maintain) the defeat badly damaged Mary's prestige in the eyes of her people.

Mary proved a more able administrator than her brother or father, showing a woman could rule; she was much more frugal with the Royal Treasury, as it was already heavily in debt due to costly wars, debased coinage and exorbitant spending on luxuries and palaces. She drafted several plans for currency reforms, although most credit was given to Elizabeth. In fact most of her accomplishments have been attributed to Elizabeth by subsequent Protestant rules. Mary laid the groundwork for the patronage of the arts, she convinced the people a woman could rule, and increased the trade and colonial power of England. The golden age of England could not have been possible without the struggle of Mary the first. She also settled further colonists in the Irish midlands, increasing the Tudors' control over Ireland. Meanwhile, despite her lack of popularity, most Protestants gradually went underground or pretended to submit to Mary's Catholic laws. Had Mary been given more time, she might have seen England's economy healed and its' church brought back (at least publicly) under Catholic authority. However, she fell fatally ill after a final false pregnancy in 1558. Influenced by Philip (who aimed to prevent a triple union of England, Scotland and France) Mary declared her half-sister Elizabeth her heir over the Catholic claimant Mary Queen of Scots, after forcing Elizabeth to promise she would not convert the country. Mary finally died (probably from cancer) on November 17, 1558. Elizabeth succeeded her, and immediately broke her promise to Mary, dismantling Mary's Catholic restoration, replacing it with a more moderate form of Protestantism than their brother Edwards'.

Despite the continued popularity of Elizabeth, it was Mary who was the first queen of her own right. She was also a patron of the arts, unified the country, inspired exploration, and wrote the currency reforms passed by Elizabeth. If she’d had more time to rule, or had Henry not squandered her marriage prospects she may have been more successful, and England’s Golden Age may have come about sooner. Instead her accomplishments are forgotten and she is reduced to a propaganda monster meant to terrify Protestant children into submission, because the winner of the war gets to write the history books, and England’s Protestant factions eventually won out.


Unlike her two younger half-siblings, Mary knew her mother for a substantial amount of time; Elizabeth's was executed when she was nearly three and Edward's died days after his birth. Being raised by her loving, wise, and passionately Catholic mother, Catherine of Aragon, had a distinct effect on Mary's personality. Mary is a shrewd, attractive and usually kind young woman who shows deference to almost no-one except her parents; she is extremely grounded and has admirable determination. As the series goes on she becomes increasingly unbending, embittered by her encounters with Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard, as well as her various unsuccessful attempts to marry and have children. Nonetheless, in spite of his mistreatment of her in Season Two, Mary's love and loyalty to her father remains intact.

Mary's stepmothers and siblings[]

Mary's reactions to her various stepmothers are mixed; she never lost her loyalty and love for her mother, Catherine of Aragon, and since Anne Boleyn was the one who usurped them from court, this is primarily why she hates her, seeing through Anne's initial attempts to make peace with her.  Otherwise, she would probably have liked Anne's unique style, boldness and intelligence—being that though Anne caused the split with the Pope, she herself was technically Catholic, admittedly though only when it suited her. As it was, Mary continued to refer to her as the king's mistress or as a harlot, refusing acknowledge Anne as Queen. Anne did not push the issue, but she wisely kept Mary at an arm's length from her mother and made sure Henry kept her off the line of succession, as well as making her a lady-in-waiting to Mary's newborn sister. Though Anne did wish to have Mary and Catherine poisoned. Meanwhile, Anne's cruel remarks about Catherine only made Mary more hateful towards her. Mary reacted to Anne's execution with reserved relief, thanking God for removing such a figurative poison from her life.

Her relationship with Jane Seymour was quite different; Seymour was anxious that Mary be treated well and restored to the royal line, and as she was Henry's favorite queen, Mary's influence with her father improved despite the fact that Jane's unborn son would pass Mary to the throne. Jane also shared Mary's strong Catholic faith, unlike the more temperate Boleyn. Mary had very friendly relationship with her second stepmother, but unfortunately Jane died not long after giving birth to her half-brother Edward; Mary wept at her funeral procession.

When Henry later married, then rejected, Anne of Cleves, despite Anne's Lutheran background, Mary also found mutual respect and friendship with her, as both were dignified, intelligent dowagers. However, her attitude towards the King's fifth Queen, Katherine Howard (who was several years Mary's junior) was entirely different despite Katherine being (in name, if nothing else) a Catholic. Mary was extremely contemptuous of Katherine's stupidity, vanity and vast sexual appetite, and despised her as much as she had Anne Boleyn. She also resented Katherine because she saw her as the usurper of Anne of Cleves, as Anne Boleyn had been to her mother. When Mary commented on Katherine’s failure to produce children, Katherine retorted that Mary would never manage to marry or have children, which reduced Mary to tears until Chapuys came and comforted her. The day that Katherine was executed, Mary once again showed no grief for the young queen.

Catherine Parr, the final Queen of Henry VIII, also had a good relationship with Mary since she was an intelligent and dignified woman who was closer to Henry's age, and did everything she could do be a loving stepmother to all three of her stepchildren. In fact, she was instrumental to their fostering a closer relationship with their father. However, Mary later became suspicious of Catherine's role in Edward's and Elizabeth's education, and correctly assumed that her younger siblings were being influenced in favour of Protestantism and were, in her eyes, heading for damnation. Hence, she withdrew her favour from Catherine, though she later accepted her comforting when her father bid her a final farewell.

Despite her hatred of Anne Boleyn, Mary did not show any initial for her half-sister, Elizabeth (who was mothered by Anne), whom she warmly cared for as an infant. She gave Elizabeth nothing but affection, even helping to have her be reintroduced to court and restored to their father's favour. The two sisters were shown to share the same bed, and a teenage Elizabeth trusted Mary enough to confide in her older sister about her pity for Katherine Howard, and her determination to never marry because of it, though historically it’s likely Elizabeth never married because of the precarious position it placed Mary in.

By contrast to her views on Elizabeth, whom she saw as having less claim to the throne than herself, Mary always saw her younger half-brother, Edward, as the legitimate heir. She was shown to have always treated him affectionately, vowing to be the image of Jane for him, and even spending an entire night by the altar in tearful prayer to God for help when she learned that he was dangerously ill. However, their relationship was not as intimate as that between her and Elizabeth, and when he took the throne, their relationship soured drastically due to their different religious beliefs (Edward was as much of a fanatical Protestant as Mary was a fanatical Catholic). Edward was said to have reduced Mary to tears during a court gathering where the three siblings united after their father's death—an extremely rare moment—due to a heated argument in religion. When he was on his deathbed, he disinherited Mary for fear that she would bring England back to Catholicism, and named Lady Jane Grey his heir, though this did not stop Mary from ultimately becoming Queen Mary I of England.


Mary was betrothed at least three times before she was twelve years old: to the Dauphin Henri-Philippe, to her cousin Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain, and to Henry, Duke of Orleans. However, none of these betrothals was followed through.

As she grew older Mary's devotion to Catholicism was well-known, even internationally, leading Chapuys to remark ironically to King Henry that anyone who tried to court her would have to treat her "like a nun". However, being Mary's dearest friend and the ambassador of her cousin, Chapuys nonetheless put forward several candidates for Mary's hand to Henry; these potential marriages would not have made her Queen, but they would have brought her back into contact with her mother's family in Catholic Spain and given her a very comfortable lifestyle.

Mary herself often seemed wistful over her lack of marriage (and broke down into tears after being taunted about this by Katherine Howard) but was resigned to her single life. There are only two occasions, both in Season Three, where she showed any real interest in a romantic relationship and marriage. The first was to Don Luis, Charles' nephew and first Admiral; Mary was definitely intrigued when Chapuys described his accomplishments, faith and good looks. However, the match was delayed and ultimately discarded due to heightening tensions between King Henry and Emperor Charles.

Mary's second real attempt at betrothal came from her new stepmother Anne of Cleves, who proposed her handsome and charming cousin Philip, Duke of Bavaria- a match that could have elevated her into the German nobility. Mary initially dismissed this option (because Anne and Philip were both Lutherans) but on meeting Philip in person she was quickly charmed by him. Overhearing him express his admiration for both her and her mother Catherine, she quickly fell for Philip, culminating in a passionate kiss after dancing with him at court. However, shortly afterwards her father's alliance with the Protestant League failed, resulting in Philip being sent back to Germany; while she calmly admitted to Anne that she could not have married Philip anyway due to their religious differences, Mary was privately heartbroken.

Ultimately, during her reign as Queen she was married to King Philip II of Spain (the son of her cousin Charles) but the marriage was extremely unpopular, one-sided (Philip held no love for Mary and seldom even visited her) and produced no children.


  • "I know of no Queen of England but my mother. And I will accept no Queen but my mother."
  • To Anne Boleyn: "I recognize no Queen but my mother... but, if the King's mistress would intercede with him on my behalf, then I would be grateful." (Anne pauses, then jerks her chin at Mary, indicating for her to leave)
  • "Is the harlot dead?"
  • "¿No soy la hija de mi madre?" (Am I not my mother's daughter?)
  • "I am afraid I was not born for happiness."
  • "Lady, you must know how beloved you are to the people—as was your mother before you, God rest her soul." — Robert Aske to Mary.


[[Category:House Trastamara]]