Anne of Austria 1549 - 1580

Anna of Austria – A devout soul

Anna of Austria was born on 2 November 1549 as the daughter of first cousins Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor, and Maria of Austria. She had been born in Spain but had been mostly brought up in Vienna from the age of 4. From an early age, she was considered for several marriages, most notably to her cousin [read more]

Mary I of England

The King’s Window

On a cold and dreary day, I travelled to Gouda, near The Hague in the Netherlands to look at a church with some very impressive windows. I can hear you thinking, why are these windows so special? Well, they’ve survived for almost 500 years, and that’s quite impressive. Most of the church’s stained glass windows [read more]


Philip II by Geoffrey Parker Book Review

Mary herself believed she was destined for unhappiness. She was quoted as saying she was ‘the most unhappy lady in Christendom’. Plans to marry her had begun as early as 1518. Firstly to the French dauphin, Francis III of Brittany and later to her first cousin Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, who was sixteen years [read more]


Queens Regnant – Mary I of England

England’s first Queen regnant was born on 18 February 1516 to Catherine of Aragon and Henry VIII of England, and she was to be their only child to survive infancy. She grew up under the pressure of several suitors, first to the French Dauphin and later to her first cousin Charles V. Mary was educated [read more]