Mary Tudor, French Queen, English Princess

Mary Tudor, Reluctant Queen of France

In France, Mary Tudor ranks as the French Queen, not the English Princess. She wasn’t queen long. As third wife to the feeble King Louis XII, she reigned as queen consort from 9 October 1514 when they married in Abbeville to 1 January 1515 when the king died. But from then until the end of her life she used the Title Queen of France or Dowager Queen of France. This despite her reluctance to marry King Louis and the speed with which she remarried after his death.

Mary, Tudor Princess, A Book Review

I recently read Mary—Tudor Princess by Tony Riches. This historical novel begins as Mary attends her brother Henry VIII’s coronation when she is 12. It follows the chronology of her life from that point forward.

Because this is the 16th Century, it is her duty as a princess to serve her country by marrying to solidify an alliance. So, though she is only 12, her late father Henry VII had already betrothed her to Duke Charles of the Netherlands, [the man who will become Emperor Charles V]. Mary accepts her duty although she is a little doubtful about Charles for he is younger than she and does not write her or anything. But already she dreams about Duke Charles Brandon, her brother’s dashing favourite. Still, she knows he is forbidden.

Mary, English Princess to French Queen

Five years later, the political landscape has changed. Henry now needs an alliance with France. And frail 52-year-old King Louis is a recent widower without an heir. Henry betroths the reluctant Mary to King Louis, but in return she wrings a promise from him. When Louis dies, he will allow her to choose her own husband.

Cover of Mary—Tudor Princess; French Queen, English Princess

Does he keep his promise? I will let you read the book to discover. But Tony Riches tells an exciting story about a real princess with a mind of her own during a time when men had the right to rule the women and their lives. His facts are correct, yet he tells the story from Mary’s point of view so it doesn’t read like history, it reads like what it is—an excellent novel. If you are a fan of the Tudors, the Renaissance or princesses, you will want to read this book.

Spoiler Alert! Stop Here If You Don’t Know Mary’s Story

Tony Riches tells Mary’s story from her point of view as an English princess who doesn’t want to be French queen. That is fair and perfectly reasonable. But it is only one half of the story. The French, especially the French court, had another perspective on the French queen. Because she married so soon after the king died, and she made off with some French crown jewels, she was not exactly popular.

Mary Tudor as the French Queen is an important character in my novel The Importance of Pawns. But here you will see her from the French point of view. From various French points of view, actually. Do you wonder how her step children felt about her? What about the future king, Francois? And his mother, Countess Louise d’Angoulême who had her own opinions about Ling Louis having a son of his own?

The Importance of Pawns is available now on Amazon. Buy it now to find out.

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