On this day in 1543, nine month old Mary Stuart was crowned Queen of the Scots. She had inherited the throne at the age of six days—being the only legitimate surviving child of her father, James V of Scotland—and began a life of tumult and heartbreak. Most of her childhood was spent in France, where she married the Dauphin, Francis, and became Queen of France once her husband became king. But his (and her) rule was short—a year and a half later, he was dead.Mary returned to Scotland and married her first cousin, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. They had a son, James (who would eventually become King of Scotland, then King of England). But it was an unhappy marriage and Darnley was soon found dead. Suspicion fell upon James Hepburn, Fourth Earl of Bothwell. He was acquitted and soon married Queen Mary.But uprisings happen and soon Mary was imprisoned. She abdicated, surrendering the throne to her son (James, 13 months old), and sought protection from her cousin Elizabeth I (then Queen of England). But Elizabeth did not trust Mary—for Mary had many supporters who thought that she was the rightful heir to the English crown.
Elizabeth, cousin and queen, locked-up Mary for 18 and a half years. Eventually, Elizabeth was able to convict her cousin of an assassination plot and executed Mary, Queen of Scots.
The agate brooch, pictured above, is Scottish and made under the long reign of another English queen, Victoria. Thankfully, the times were (a bit) more peaceful. The pin is certainly regal.