The Last Days of Mary Queen of Scots – Channel 5

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Word PressOh honestly, Channel 5 – couldn’t you have put a bit more effort into your research, especially for a programme on so well-known a figure as Mary Queen of Scots?!  She was married three times, not, as you said, twice!  Fairly basic information!  Oh well, other than that one awful blooper, LOL, this wasn’t a bad programme – although the title was a misnomer, because it was about the life of Mary Queen of Scots from when she married Darnley onwards, not just about her “last days”.

It was same old, same old, though.  It’s a fascinating story – and that’s partly because it’s full of fascinating mysteries.  We just don’t know whether or not Mary was involved in Darnley’s murder, whether she went off with and married Bothwell willingly or because he forced her, or to what extent she was really involved in the plots against Elizabeth … nor, indeed, to what extent the plots were real and to what extent they were set-ups.  We’ve heard it all before, and this programme had nothing new to say.  Having said which, that doesn’t stop the story or the debates which rage about it from being fascinating, and they were quite well-presented.

Was there any need for all that patronising talk about how Elizabeth was jealous of Mary because Mary was prettier, though?  Or all the patronising talk generally about how Elizabeth and Mary were jealous of each other?  Henry VIII and (the French king) Francis I were as bad as, and in fact probably worse than, Elizabeth and Mary, trying to outdo each other at the Field of the Cloth of Gold, two young posers who both totally fancied themselves, but you don’t get people going on about that in a serious historical debate!

Oh well.  It still made for reasonably good watching.  Next week, they’re doing Rasputin.  Again – same old, same old, but a story that never fails to fascinate nonetheless.  There are a lot of them around!

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