June commemorates the 450th anniversary of the death of Mary of Guise, the mother of Mary, Queen of Scots. Why so important an anniversary?
Because after the death of her husband, James V, at the end of 1542, she was the ruler of Scotland up until her death. It was she who maintained the Catholic cause against Protestant reformers. It was she who outwitted the Scottish nobles albeit with French money and it was her brother who captured Calais from the English during the time of Mary I.
Outside Scotland, she is hardly known. Within it, she is eclipsed by her daughter. Now Historic Scotland has pieced together a trail that touches upon three of Scotland’s most popular attractions, to all of which Mary is intimately connected. Stirling Castle is where the old kings were crowned, Linlithgow Palace is where Mary gave birth to Mary Queen of Scots and Edinburgh Castle is where Mary dies in 1560 aged just 45. One other thing about Mary. Henry VIII proposed to her, I think before she married James V, but she declined to say that she had a strong body but a slender neck. She was already aware of how Henry treated wives!
Up until July 11th, if you go on the trail and become members of Historic Scotland you can get 15 months membership for just the price of 12 months. That means with 345 sites in its care, if you can visit a handful in the year, membership becomes good value for money.
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