The death of James V in 1542, only days after the birth of his daughter Mary, led to questions over who was to run the country for the young Queen.
Many thought her mother, Mary of Guise, was not a good choice - she was female and French.
The Earl of Arran, was Mary’s nearest relative. If the young Queen died, he would become King of Scots. He ruled as regent (someone who rules on a temporary basis) until 1554.
Rival Scottish nobles wanted to run the country. The Kings of England and France supported different groups so they could be involved.
Henry VIII wanted to replace the Earl of Arran with someone who would support the marriage of the young Mary with his son, Prince Edward.
To do this, Henry persuaded some Scottish nobles to make Henry the Protector of Scotland.
This failed and it was the pro-French faction, led by Cardinal Beaton, which eventually seized control.