To many, the name Mary Tudor has gone down in history as that of one of the most ruthless queens of all time. Mary was born on the 18th of February 1516 to Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. During her lifetime, she would experience the world as she knew it crumbling around her. .
Mary was the only child to survive from her parents' marriage. To her father's dismay she was not the son that he craved, so after years of attempts he began to look elsewhere for his heir. It was this decision that would change Mary's life in two very devastating ways. One was that her father wished to divorce her mother on the grounds that their marriage was a sin, thus making Mary an illegitimate child. In doing this, Henry attempted to go through the Church. The Pope refused Henry a papal dispensation to dissolve the marriage, and in 1533 Henry made a formal break with the Catholic Church. These two events would have long-lasting effects on Mary, due to her unwavering loyalty to both her mother, and to the Catholic Church. .
Following her parents' divorce, Mary seems to have slipped away from court. Although she was always present and well taken care of during the rest of her father's reign and his other marriages, Mary spent a good deal of time away from the court. Although her father had separated her from her mother and had made her swear that her parents' marriage had been a sin, Mary still stood by her mother and her faith. .
Despite the fact that Mary was not an extremely active member of the nobility, she , along with her mother, was popular among the majority of the people. It was Mary's popularity that would later bring her to the throne. Although Henry VII had made himself the head of the Church of England, the church itself was still Catholic. Unfortunately for Mary, this would change with her father's death and her young Protestant brother's accession to the throne in 1547. Mary managed to keep her faith through her brother Edward's reign.