In 1561, Mary Stuart, widow of the King of France, returns to Scotland, reclaims her rightful throne and menaces the future of Queen Elizabeth I as ruler of England, because she has a legitimate claim to the English throne. Betrayals, rebellions, conspiracies and their own life choices imperil both Queens. They experience the bitter cost of power, until their tragic fate is finally fulfilled.
Mary Stuart, who was named Queen of Scotland when she was only six days old, is the last Roman Catholic ruler of Scotland. She is imprisoned at he age of 23 by her cousin Elizabeth Tudor, the English Queen and her arch adversary. Nineteen years later the life of Mary is to be ended on the scaffold and with her execution the last threat to Elizabeth's throne has been removed. The two Queens with their contrasting personalities make a dramatic counterpoint to history.
The life and death of the Scottish monarch.
A short film depicting the execution of Mary, Queen of the Scots. Mary is brought to the execution block and made to kneel down with her neck over it. The executioner lifts his axe ready to bring it down. After that frame Mary has been replaced by a dummy. The axe comes down and severs the head of the dummy from the body. The executioner picks up the head and shows it around for everyone else to see. One of the first camera tricks to be used in a movie.
There are few women in history to have truly stood the test of time but the romance surrounding the ill-fated Mary Queen of Scots has ensured that her story lives on to intrigue and fascinate each new generation.