Henry VIII

Anne Boleyn

Elizabeth I

Many Catholics, particularly in France, also claimed that Mary was the rightful queen of England. They argued that the marriage of Elizabeth's father, Henry VIII, to Anne Boleyn was unlawful, that Elizabeth was illegitimate, and that the crown should pass to Mary, who was next in line of succession.

Mary herself did not claim to be Queen of England instead of Elizabeth, but she did claim to be Elizabeth's heir.

Suddenly, in 1560, two events occurred which changed Mary's life. The first was the death of her mother, Mary of Guise. This brought an end to French influence in Scotland, which now became a Protestant country.

The second event was the death of her husband, Francis II. No longer Queen of France, Mary decided, reluctantly, to return to Scotland.