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MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS – Max Richter

December 19, 2018 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The rivalry that existed between Mary Stuart, the daughter of King James V of Scotland, and Elizabeth Tudor, the daughter of King Henry VIII of England and Anne Boleyn, came to be one of the defining elements of British political and royal life. Various complicated legal issues regarding legitimacy and succession meant that the two cousins had valid claims to the British throne, but it was Elizabeth who eventually took it, becoming queen in 1558. Within a year Mary had married King Francis II of France, but following his death just two years later she returned to Scotland to take up her throne there. Tragedy and death dogged Mary’s life – her first husband was murdered, and her second husband eventually fled to Scandinavia – and by 1567 she had been forced to abdicate her throne in favor of her one year old son. Seeking the help of her cousin, she left for London, but the increasingly paranoid Elizabeth saw her as a threat, and had her imprisoned for plotting to assassinate her; Mary was eventually executed in 1586. This story has been told many times on screen, most famously in a popular 1971 film starring Vanessa Redgrave and Glenda Jackson. This version of the story stars Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie as the two queens, and is directed by Josie Rourke from a screenplay by House of Cards creator Beau Willimon. Read more…