18 March 1496 – Birth of Mary Tudor, Queen of France

Mary Tudor by Johannes Corvus

On this day in 1496, Mary Tudor, Queen of France, was born at Richmond Palace. She was the daughter of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, and the sister of Henry VIII.

Here are some Mary Tudor facts:

  • She was known for her beauty, being described as “a Paradise – tall, slender, grey-eyed, possessing an extreme pallor” by the Venetian ambassador.
  • Her motto was La volenté De Dieu me suffit (The will of God is sufficient for me)
  • She married twice – In October 1514, she married Louis XII of France but was widowed on 1st January 1515. Mary then married Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk. They married in France in March 1515* in secret and without Henry VIII’s permission, but Henry forgave them and the couple were officially married on 13th May 1515 at Greenwich Palace.
  • Mary had four children by Suffolk: Henry Brandon, named after her brother (11th March 1516-1522), Lady Frances Brandon (16th July 1517-20th November 1559) who was the mother of Lady Jane Grey (and also Katherine and Mary Grey), Lady Eleanor Brandon (1519-27th September 1547) who went on to marry Henry Clifford, the 2nd Earl of Cumberland, and Henry Brandon, the 1st Earl of Lincoln (around 1523-1st March 1534). Only Frances and Eleanor survived childhood.
  • Mary became ill in 1533, and died on 25th June (some sources say 24th) at Westhorpe, Suffolk. She was laid to rest in the abbey at Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, and then moved to St Mary’s Church in Bury St Edmunds during the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

You can read more about Mary Tudor in the following articles:

*It is thought that they married in secret in mid February and that this was then followed by a further ceremont in France. A French chronicle gives the date of 3rd March 1515 and Louise of Savoy gives the date of 31st March 1515.

Mary Tudor and Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk

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