Crowned Queen of Scotland at only nine months of age, proud Mary Stuart (1542- 1587) was off to a flying start. A tall beauty with golden-red hair and bewitching hazel eyes, Mary was so charismatic, so brilliant with words that her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I, refused to meet her during their lifetimes for fear of being overshadowed.
Yet their destinies could not be more intertwined… Born in Scotland to King James V of Scotland and his French wife, Marie de Guise, Queen Mary Stuart knew from a very young age: she was born to rule. And she would do so with pride and passion; riding out at the head of her army in both victory and defeat, playing high-stake games, both in politics and love. Mary’s greatest obsession was the English throne, and, convinced she was the rightful heir, refused to give up fighting for it, even after imprisonment by her cousin and rival queen Elizabeth I. When Mary met the guillotine at only 44 years old, she proudly wore a blazing red petticoat, the symbol of a Catholic martyr. ‘In the End is My Beginning’ had been her life motto, and indeed, barely 15 years later, Mary Stuart’s son James would succeed Queen Elizabeth and become King of England. Mary Queen of Scots had lived and died, knowing she would have the last laugh: with her head held high.
NO ONE like me
As liberal and open-minded as Marlies Dekkers is now, during her childhood she was equally conservative. “Every night, I would be on my knees, praying my Hail Marys.” Still, that period is precious to her; it has shaped her into the power woman she is now. This year, Marlies celebrates being in business for 25 years, the perfect opportunity to look back at her milestones.
Governed by NO ONE
Flame-haired, brave-hearted and always dressed to dazzle, Elizabeth the First, also known as England’s ‘Virgin Queen’, is one of the most unforgettable women in history. Her glorious reign is known as The Golden Age ~ a period that saw the birth of Shakespeare, the defeat of the Spanish Armada and the emergence of England as a world power. It lasted almost 45 years; Elizabeth’s legacy as a feminist icon however, has already spanned nearly 5 centuries. “My sex cannot diminish my prestige.”
Only 11 days after he beheaded his second wife (the flamboyant Anne Boleyn), King Henry VIII married a pale, fair-haired maiden called Jane Seymour. Who exactly was this girl, and what had made the king so besotted with her? To this day, historians don’t quite know what to make of her.
Glamour, the magical power of persuasion