23 Bloody Mary Queen Facts: Read All About The Mysterious Life She Led

Keerthana Ramasamy
Nov 03, 2022 By Keerthana Ramasamy
Originally Published on Mar 28, 2022
Edited by Pete Anderson
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
Read our 23 Bloody Mary Queen Facts to know the history and life of queen regnant of England, Mary I of England.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.8 Min

Mary I of England, or Bloody Mary, was one of the most mysterious and talked about queens in history.

Mary I of England had a life full of secrets, so people are still fascinated by her today. Here are 23 Bloody Mary Queen facts that will give you a better understanding of who she was and what she did.

Family Of Queen Bloody Mary

Mary I of England was a direct descendant of King Henry VIII of England and his first wife, Spanish Princess Catherine of Aragon. Her parents got separated in 1531 and had their marriage annulled in 1533. Know the family of Bloody Mary.

  • Mary I of England was born on February 18, 1516, in Greenwich Palace, England, to King Henry VIII of England, and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.
  • Bloody Mary spent her early childhood at Eltham Palace in Kent, England.
  • Bloody Mary had one younger sister, Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth I).
  • Mary's paternal grandparents were Henry VII of England and Elizabeth of York.
  • Mary's maternal grandparents were King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile.
  • Mary's father, Henry, died in 1547 when she was 31 years old.

Mysteries Of Queen Bloody Mary

Mary's legacy continues to fascinate people centuries after her death. Read all about the mysterious life of England's first queen.

  • Mary was a Tudor queen who reigned from 1553 until she died in 1558. She attempted to restore the Roman Catholic faith in England during her tenure.
  • Mary's father was married four times and had six wives total. Names of his other wives are Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, and Katherine Parr. Mary was the only child of Queen Catherine (first wife) to survive to adulthood.
  • Before Mary, Catherine of Aragon was pregnant six times. Mary was the only child who survived infancy.
  • Mary's persecution of Protestants led to the executions of nearly 200 people, including the famous Archbishop Thomas Cranmer.
John Foxe, English historian's 'Book of Martyrs' describes the Iconography of Mary I in the throne.

Youth Of Queen Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary's childhood was full of tragedy. She was believed to be used as a diplomatic tool by her father, promising her to several potential allies as a wife. Some of them are Dauphin and Emperor Charles V. After her father married Anne Boleyn in 1533, he restricted Mary from seeing her mother. Read more to know her young age.

  • Mary's mother died on January 7, 1536, by execution. Mary was declared an illegitimate child by her father and removed from the line of succession after Anne's execution.
  • As a result, Mary grew up without much contact with her father. She lived a secluded life with her governess, Margaret Bryan. Mary I of England developed a strong relationship with her half-sister Elizabeth, who later became Queen Elizabeth I. The two sisters remained close throughout their lives.
  • Queen Elizabeth I was born to King Henry and Anne Boleyn on September 7, 1533.
  • Mary I of England was a very religious woman. She was a devout Catholic, and she worked hard to convert England back to Catholicism.
  • Mary's marriage with Prince Philip of Spain happened in 1554. This marriage caused many problems because many English people did not want their queen to be married to a foreigner.

Adulthood Of Queen Bloody Mary

Mary I of England was not always queen. She only became queen the death of King Edward VI, Mary's half-brother. When King Edward VI died, Lady Jane was proclaimed queen by Dudley and his supporter. Learn her adulthood and succession to the throne.

  • After the death of King Edward VI, advisors thought to make Lady Jane Grey the first proclaimed queen regnant of England. Lady Jane Grey was the protestant cousin of King Edward. However, when Mary refused to give up on her right to the throne when Mary gathered her support and went to London and claimed the throne. 
  • Mary's reign as queen was relatively short. She ruled for just five years before her death in 1558.
  • She died of natural causes in 1558. She was just 42 years old at the time of her death.
  • Mary I of England was abandoned by her husband; Mary was only 37 years old.
  • During the five-year reign, to get a male heir and avoid reversal of reforms, Marry arranged to marry Philip II of Spain. They had a Spanish marriage.
  • She earned the nickname 'Bloody Mary' due to her harsh treatment of Protestants, to regain Roman Catholic faith in England, and seeking to return England to Catholic Church.
  • She also abolished all the religious legislation passed under Edward VI. 
  • To voice against the unpopular moves of Mary's rule, the 'Wyatt Rebellion' started in England in 1554.


Who was Bloody Mary?

A: Mary I, or Bloody Mary, was born to King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. Though Queen Mary's early life was not princess-like, she was the first-ever Queen in England to rule in her own right.

How did Bloody Mary die?

A:Mary died during an influenza epidemic, possibly through cancer, on November 17, 1558, when she was 42 years old. After her death, Elizabeth, Mary's half-sister, succeeded the crown.

Who was the first queen of England?

A:Mary Tudor was the first queen regnant in power in England. She ruled from 1553 until she died in 1558.

Is Mary Queen of Scots Bloody Mary?

A:No, Mary, Queen of Scots, is the great-granddaughter of King Henry VIII's eldest sister, Margaret Tudor. She was married to the King of Scots and became Queen of Scots. On the other hand, Mary Tudor, Queen of England, is commonly called Bloody Mary. She was the daughter of Henry VIII with his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.

Who did Mary Tudor marry?

A:Mary Tudor, Queen of England, was married to 52-year-old King Louis XII of France at Abbeville to negotiate a peace treaty with France from October 9, 1514-January 1, 1515. Later she was married to Duchess of Suffolk, Charles Brandon, whom she was almost certainly already in love with.

How did Bloody Mary die in the real story?

A:Blood Mary died at the age of 42 due to the influenza epidemic. However, she suffered from severe abdominal pain and is believed to have ovarian cancer.

Where does Bloody Mary come from?

A:Queen Mary was born on February 18, 1516, at the Palace of Placentia. Palace is known as Greenwich Palace, often used as an English royal residence. It was built in 1443 by Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester.

Where was Bloody Mary buried?

A:Mary I of England was the queen. On November 17, 1558, she died and was buried on December 14, 1558, at Westminster Abbey, London, United Kingdom.

Who did Henry VIII's daughter Mary marry?

A:Mary married Philip II of Spain. Philip was also a Catholic who came to England in 1554, and the couple tied the knot two days after his arrival to England. Their marriage ceremony was held at Winchester Castle.

Why do they call her Bloody Mary?

A:Mary, daughter of Henry VIII, became regnant of England after Edward VI. After Edward VI died, Mary overthrew her will to become a Queen, as she was next in line of succession. Hence, she was named Mary I of England. England had gone through reformation being a protestant country during Edward's reign, which Mary I wasn't fond of, as she was a devout Catholic. It earned her the name 'Bloody Mary.'

Did Bloody Mary have a baby?

A:No, Mary I of England doesn't have any baby; she had a false pregnancy twice. Mary could not conceive a Catholic Heir as a successor.

What religion was Bloody Mary?

A:Mary I of England practiced Catholicism.

Was Mary Tudor a good queen?

A:Mary I of England was a highly impressive queen in history who proved to be hardworking, determined, and closely involved in policymaking and government business.

Who is Bloody Mary, and what happened to her?

A:Bloody Mary is another name for Mary I of England, regnant of England. She ruled England from 1516-1558 until her death.

Is Bloody Mary married?

A:Yes, Mary married Philip II of Spain from 1554-1558.

Which English queen was Bloody Mary?

A: Mary Tudor, England queen and the only surviving child of Henry VIII, and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, was known as Bloody Mary.

Editorial credit: chrisdorney / Shutterstock.com

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Written by Keerthana Ramasamy

Bachelor of Engineering specializing in Electrical and Electronics Engineering

Keerthana Ramasamy picture

Keerthana RamasamyBachelor of Engineering specializing in Electrical and Electronics Engineering

With a background in electrical and electronics engineering from Sri Ramakrishna Engineering College, Keerthana brings a unique blend of technical expertise and creative flair to her role as a content writer. Her natural curiosity and passion for exploring new career paths led her to the exciting world of content marketing, where she has honed her content optimization, SEO, and Google Analytics skills. Keerthana's experience as a Content Marketing Specialist at GetMyUni has provided her with hands-on experience in digital marketing and editing, allowing her to create engaging and impactful content.

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