When a royal child is born, his destiny's been decided. A lad is destined to be king. A lass is destined to be a prop for alliances, married-off to princes who will soon become kings of their own realms. When the lad is king, he will be of great things. When the lass is queen, she will be nothing more than a tool for producing heirs. My destiny was just the same.
Scotland was in war with England. The death of my grandmother, Margaret Tudor, caused the peace with England to end. Scotland and England became rivals. My father had to leave for battle, leaving my pregnant mother behind.
News of my father's victory swept the kingdom and it over-whelmed my mother. She became certain that my father would return, in time for their child's birth but things turned for the worst. Scotland started to lose and it caused my father's health to deteriorate.
Time was running out. My mother was near her due; yet my father still had not returned. When the time came, I was born. But I was a lass and not a lad that they all had hoped for; yet no one cared. The line of succession was secured. I was destined to be queen of Scotland.
News of my birth reached my father but he was already on his death bed. Six days after, he passed. His last words were "It began with a lass and it will end with a lass". My mother was devastated, for she had lost her husband. She must now carry on the burden of raising me alone and at the same time rule the kingdom until I was of age.
As Scotland mourned for their king, England was beginning to make plans. It was an alliance between the Scots and English, through marriage. They called it "The Treaty of Greenwich". Scottish Parliament and my mother rejected their offer. Shortly after, English forces raided Scottish territory. They wished to take me to England by force and impose the treaty when I have come of age to marry.
France offered to aid Scotland in defeating England but under one condition. I must wed the king's son and in return France would send military forces to aid the Scottish forces. Sir James Hamilton, who was my regent, agreed to France's proposal. We left for France at once.
We left at dawn and rode a carriage to the port, where a ship was awaiting for us. After a few days of sailing, we finally reached France. The king was very warm in welcoming us into his realm and I was then introduced to Francis II, the Dauphin of France, to whom I was to wed. I enjoyed my days in France. I had new friends, Francis and his sister, Elisabeth, and was given an education in music, dance, language, sports and literature.
Months passed and it would time for my mother to return to Scotland. Though I did not wish for her to leave, she had to go because she had a duty to fulfill to our people. I cried for mother the first few nights after her departure. For weeks I wasn't the joyful child that I was when mother was still in France. The "gem of the court" had lost its luster. The king was worried about my well-being and spent most of his time keeping me company, cheering me up, like a father to his own child. He treated me like his own daughter, even though the queen strongly disapproved of it.
Eventually, everything went back to the way it was. I was once again the happy child the court had all loved. Everything was going well but it seems that tragedy always found ways to creep back into my life.
The king held a banquet in honor of the birth of Princess Claude, the newest addition to the royal family. It was my first banquet in the French Court. There was music, dancing, an abundance of delicious food, and endless wine for the adults. The room was filled with the nobles of France and friends of the royal family. The celebration went on from dusk until dawn. But we, children, were not allowed to stay up late. We were all told to head to our chambers as soon as we finished our evening supper.
After changing into my night gown, saying my prayer and climbing onto my bed. My nurses tucked me in and wished me a good night's rest. They sat on their stools and watched me fall asleep. As I was about to drift-off to sleep, I suddenly heard something loud, as if something big had fallen. I opened my eyes and saw my nurses on the floor with blood flowing out of their bodies. Breathing became difficult, and just as I was about to scream someone covered my mouth and grabbed me from behind. I struggled but the person was too strong. He tied my hands, blind-folded and carried me off.
I struggled as he carried me. I kicked and kicked, and threw punches at his back. Unfortunately, he was too strong for a five year old lass to handle. It was until I exhausted myself that I began to cry. I felt hopeless, helpless, and lost the will to fight back. What child deserved to be treated like this, let alone a child of royal blood?
The next day, the sound of crashing waves woke me up. I opened my eyes and saw myself in a lavish room that was fit for royalty. I was frightened. No longer was I under the protection of my mother, Scotland and France. I was now on a ship to an unknown destination. I tried to convince myself that this was only just a bad dream and so I began to pinch myself, trying to believe that I can somehow wake up from this nightmare.
A group of ladies suddenly entered the room and all curtsied before me. "Good morning your highness, I am Lady Anne Seymour. I have been tasked by His Majesty -".
"His Majesty?" I asked in scared voice.
"Yes, your highness, the King of England."
"England?" I began to wonder. Wasn't it the place that mother and the King of France tried to keep me from? Wasn't it the king who sent the English troops to seize my realm that caused me and my mother to flee and seek refuge in France?
"I have been tasked to see that her highness is well taken care of during our journey to England. I have with me nurses, chosen from the prince's own, to care for you." The lady continued to speak.
"No, take me back to France!" I demanded in my childish voice.
"I am sorry your highness but we cannot do that." Lady Anne replies in a gentle voice.
"NO! I WANT TO GO BACK!"
"Your highness, please understand that you cannot go back. Now, please stop this tantrum or else I'll have no choice but to discipline you."
"NO! TAKE ME BACK TO FRANCE! TAKE ME BACK! MOTHER!" I cried out. Tears rapidly ran down my cheeks as I continued to cry for mother. They tried to calm me down but I resisted them.
Once I had calmed down, Lady Anne leaves me in the company of the nurses. The nurses did their best in caring for me. I was stubborn and hard-headed towards them. I was certain that they would send me back if I misbehaved.
On the day of arrival in England, the king had held a banquet in my honor. There was an evident joy in the atmosphere in England. As soon as I emerged from the ship, a crowd cheered. Everyone in the realm seemed pleased that I had come. I was escorted by Lady Anne and her husband, Sir Edward Seymour (In the following years, I had learned that it was him who kidnapped me in my chamber.
Upon our arrival to the palace, we were escorted to the door of banquet hall. We were instructed not to enter until I was formally announced. I then heard trumpets and a man's voice, announcing our arrival. "You're Majesty, the Princess Mary of Scotland" he said. The doors opened, revealing hundreds of eyes directed at me.
I was prompted to enter. Casting my eyes down, I walked down the aisle. I hated the English. I reached the end and curtsied. "You're Majesty" I said, not daring to look at the man who had caused me so much misfortune. "Child, why on earth are you looking at the ground?" asked the king. "I hope I do not frighten you" he adds.
"With all due respect you're Majesty but I am not frightened of you" I said firmly, turning my gaze to the king. The king grinned and laughed. He was clearly amused that a five year old dared to speak to him so casually. "What a spirited girl you are" he chuckled.
A boy of ten years, to the right of the king stood. He was the prince, no doubt. Edward looked like your typical young prince. He was lavishly dressed and stood regally. At the age of five, I found him rather charming.
It was obvious to me that Edward was not interested to be meeting me. It was oblivious to the court and the king. I thought that he'd rather play with his toys or do some mischief than to be there to greet me. I felt the same way only that I wanted to go back to France.
The king called out to Edward and introduced us to each other. Edward greeted me with a bow and a comment that he was very happy to have met me. It sounded like he had practiced it for days. I on the other hand politely curtsied to him and told him that I was grateful that he graced me with his presence.
Although Edward and I did not meet in better circumstances, we somehow managed to create a friendship between us. In the ten years that I have spent in England, Edward and I were somehow inseparable. He always looked out for me and I on the other hand did the same way. We cared for each other but that did not grow into something romantic.
Now at fifteen, an age eligible for marriage, I await for the day for when the king will finally enforce the marriage. I'm not particularly enthusiastic about it; I still yearn to be home in Scotland with my mother. I want to take upon my birthright and rule Scotland as its rightful queen. But it seems that it is now a distant dream.