Mary, Queen of Scots, soon realised her marriage to Darnley was a mistake. He did not help her run Scotland, he stayed out late drinking and spent time with other women. Instead, she came to rely on her secretary David Riccio.

Darnley became increasingly suspicious of Riccio, and blamed him for the problems in his marriage. So a jealous Darnley carried out a plot to kill Riccio, stabbing him 56 times in Mary’s private rooms at Holyrood Palace.

First broadcast:
25 January 2002

Discuss the difficult relationship between Mary and Darnley. How was this royal scandal seen at the time? How would it be viewed today? List the complaints the rebels had against Mary and look for common factors between them. Which were personal, religious or nationalist issues? Debate the extent to which these were influenced by Mary’s gender.