Spotlight: Mary Tudor, Queen of France and Duchess of Suffolk

Name: Mary Tudor / Mary Brandon

Title/s: Queen of France / Dowager Queen of France / Duchess of Suffolk / Princess of England

Birth / Death: 18 March 1496 – 25 June 1533

Spouse: Louis XII of France 1462-1515 / Charles Brandon Duke of Suffolk c.1484-1545

Children: Henry Brandon 1516-1522 / Frances Grey Duchess of Suffolk 1517-1559 / Eleanor Clifford Countess of Cumberland 1519-1547 / Henry Brandon Earl of Lincoln c.1523-1534

Parents: Henry VII 1457-1509 & Elizabeth of York 1466-1503

Siblings: Arthur Prince of Wales 1486-1502 / Margaret Queen of Scotland 1489-1541 / Henry VIII King of England 1491-1547

Noble Connections: Mary was the sister of Henry VIII, Prince Arthur and Margaret Queen of Scotland. She married the French king Louis XII and then Charles Brandon the Duke of Suffolk. Her grand-daughter, Jane Grey, was Queen of England for nine days in 1553.

Events of their Lifetime: Death of Henry VII and accession of Henry VIII 1509, Field of the Cloth of Gold 1520, birth of Mary I 1516, Henry VIII’s great matter, Henry VIII’s marriage to Anne Boleyn and the latter’s coronation 1533.

Controversy: How did Mary’s first husband, Louis XII of France, die so suddenly? Did Mary or Suffolk have a hand in it somehow?

Works of Fiction:
Edwin Caskoden, When Knighthood was in Flower (1898)
Karen Harper, The Last Boleyn (1983)
Diane Haeger, The Secret Bride (2008)
Molly Costain Haycraft, The Reluctant Queen (1962)
Maureen Peters, Princess of Desire (1970)
Jean Plaidy, Mary, Queen of France (1964)

Portrayals on Screen:
Gabrielle Anwar, The Tudors, 2007, 6 episodes
Marion Davies, When Knighthood was in Flower, 1922, directed by Robert G. Vignola

Further Reading:
Hester Chapman, The Sisters of Henry VIII (1969)
Jennifer Kewley Drascau, The Tudor Rose: Princess Mary Rose, Henry VIII’s Sister (2013)
Agnes Strickland, Lives of the Tudor Princesses (1868)


Coat of Arms of the Tudors
Coat of Arms of the Tudors








Mary Tudor in the National Portrait Gallery.
Mary Tudor in the National Portrait Gallery
Mary Tudor and Charles Brandon by Jan Gossaert
Mary Tudor and Charles Brandon by Jan Gossaert
Mary Duchess of Suffolk as Queen of France Sketch
Mary Duchess of Suffolk as Queen of France Sketch

Author: Helene Harrison

I have an MA in History, with a thesis entitled 'The Many Faces of Anne Boleyn: Perceptions in History, Literature and Film'. I have an interest in the Tudors and the Wars of the Roses along with my love of reading and literature.

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