Mary was a clear threat to Elizabeth, and potentially England, but Elizabeth had to think carefully about what to do, weighing up the potential political consequences of each option. These included:
In the short term Elizabeth decided to keep Mary as a closely guarded royal ‘guest’, moving her from castle to castle so she would not be the focus of plots.
Alongside Mary’s challenge, Elizabeth faced many challenges and plots against her. Most of them were led by Catholics aiming to get Mary on the throne and return England to Catholic rule. By 1572 MPs were pressurising Elizabeth to have Mary executed in order to keep England secure.