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29 October 2014
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Mary Queen of Scots

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Mary and Elizabeth
Fact Files

Mary and Elizabeth

Mary's great ambition was to be named as heir to Elizabeth I, and ultimately be Queen of England. She may have had the Scottish crown but her thoughts always seemed to turned towards England.

Many English Roman Catholics believed that the current Queen of England, Elizabeth, was illegitimate and, therefore, not the true Queen.

From Elizabeth's point of view, Mary, as a Roman Catholic and a claimant to the English throne, was a very real threat to her life.

Elizabeth never knew what to do with Mary. While Mary was alive she was the focal point for Roman Catholic plots. Having her killed, however, might give her own English nobles ideas of getting rid of monarchs, should they ever stand up to her.

The Babington Plot eventually settled Elizabeth's dilemma. Despite her misgivings and anxieties, Elizabeth ordered Mary executed.



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