My name is Mary Tudor, the first queen of England to rule in my own right and I don’t mean being a wife of a king. I was born on February 18, 1516, in the Palace of Placentia located in Greenwich, England. My father, King Henry VIII and my mother, Catherine of Aragon only gave birth to one child who survived to adulthood who was me. After I was born, I was baptized and raised as a Catholic. As years passed by, my mother and scholars tutored me to excel in language and music. My father named me as the Princess of Wales (Mary Tudor Biography, 2017).
King Henry VIII was frustrated that my mother couldn’t birth a male heir for the English throne, so he decided to break away from the Roman Catholic Church once they rejected his proposal to annul his marriage with my mother. If only he hadn’t disobeyed the Roman Catholic Church, I wouldn’t have been seen as illegitimate to the throne and the people would not have questioned my right to rule. Once Anne Boleyn (King Henry’s second wife) was put to her death, I was able to restore legitimacy to the throne. However, I had no choice but to acknowledge my father as the supreme head of the English church and confess that my mother and father’s marriage was unlawful (Queen “Bloody” Mary, n.d.).
After my father passed away in 1547, my half-brother Edward VI (the son of my father’s third wife, Jane Seymour) ruled England until his death in 1553. Before the death of my half-brother, he removed me from the succession of the throne and proclaimed Lady Jane Grey, his cousin, to become queen. With my supporters, I overthrew Lady Jane Grey in 1553 and was finally declared queen of England. I had always disagreed with my father’s actions and the establishment of the Anglican Church that followed after his death. To stop my Protestant half-sister Elizabeth from succeeding me, I needed to produce an heir to ensure that Catholicism would continue ruling England. My marriage to the Catholic heir of Spain, Philip of Spain, was arranged although many people did not approve of it (Life of the Week: Queen Mary I, 2018).
In my attempt to end the rise of Protestantism, I turned to force and revived the heresy laws that stated whoever did not follow Catholicism would be prosecuted. Hundreds of men, women, and children were burned at the stake earning me the nickname “Bloody Mary”. There had been many times where I believed I was pregnant with a child that would succeed the throne and continue the Catholic future of England. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to bear a child.
I perished at the age of 42 on November 17, 1558, due to unknown causes. My half-sister, Elizabeth, succeeded the throne after my death (Nix, 2016).In my time reigning England, I had achieved great progress for England. My achievements included renewing the coinage, increasing the income of the crown, reestablishing the navy, increasing the authority of the local government, and redefined the English monarchy by establishing that females rulers can have equal power to male rulers (Life of the Week: Queen Mary I, 2018).