This is a portrait of Mary I of England, by the Dutch painter Antonis Mor (1554). It is located in Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, Spain.

The Queen is seen here sitting on a gracefully decorated velvet armchair, dressed in an elaborately embroidered purple velvet gown. The rich clothing, such as the the shimmering grey threads and the jewels adorning her gown, represents the status of nobility.

She is also wearing a headdress, cuffs and a bejeweled belt, carries a pair of warm leather gloves, and the whole look has been accessorized with a special custom-made pearl teardrop pendant, and a red rose, a symbol of the Tudor family.

Mary I was the first Queen Regnant and was infamously bestowed with the title of “Bloody Mary” for her continuous execution of Protestants.

She was the first Queen Regnant, meaning that she was a queen who reigned in her own right, rather than was the custom in those days for most queens – to be reigning only through marriage to a King.

The only child of Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, to have lived through to adulthood, her ascendance to the crown was fraught with many troubles. Her younger half-brother, Edward VI, succeeded Henry VIII to the throne in 1547.

After an unsuccessful attempt to remove Mary from from the line of succession over religious differences, he pronounced their cousin Lady Jane Grey, as the queen on his deathbed.

Mary I put together a powerful force in East Anglia and removed Jane from the throne, only to not be satisfied with the outcome, and thus had her beheaded.

Crowned as the new monarch of the Tudor dynasty in 1553, Mary is fondly remembered in Great Britain for erasing most of Henry VIII’s atrocities committed against the Roman Catholic Church, such as the restoration of Roman Catholicism, and having over 280 religious dissenters burned at the state in the Marian persecutions.

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