A portrait of a young Mary, Queen of Scots in mourning is to go on public display for the very first time. Hever Cast in Kent, perhaps better known as the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, announced that it had purchased the portrait and would display in the new Stuart room.
Historian David Starkey said it was an important, fascinating painting. “It is a very direct, simple, straightforward representation of a young woman in mourning at the moment at which she is going to take over her kingdom.
“She is on the threshold, though nobody knew it, of something that is going to turn the two kingdoms [Scotland and England] upside down and finish with her on the scaffold.”
“When you look at her you get the sense of a very tall, powerful woman,” Starkey said. “She takes after the Henry VIII line of the English royal house. She has his colour, like Elizabeth. She has got the reddish hair, the complexion, but unlike Elizabeth she has got this strapping build. You wouldn’t call her a beautiful woman, she is a very, very handsome woman.”