Mary Stuart was born near Edinburgh in 1542 at the splendid Linlithgow Palace, which is still standing today. She was the daughter of Scotland’s James V and his French wife Mary of Guise. Tragedy struck early in Mary’s life, however, as her father died just six days after she was born. As the king’s only legitimate child, she therefore succeeded to the throne while still a tiny infant.
Since Mary was a babe in arms when she inherited the throne of Scotland, the country was ruled by regents. But Mary was nonetheless quickly drawn into the politics of Scotland’s troublesome neighbor, England. Henry VIII drew up the Treaty of Greenwich, which would have seen Mary marry Henry’s son Edward when she was ten. But the Scottish Parliament subsequently rejected Henry’s proposals.