A lack of male Tudors meant that in 1553 a woman would, for the first time, inherit the throne. Edward VI wished his cousin, Lady Jane Grey, to take the throne but instead it was his older sister, Mary. Mary was Henry VIII’s oldest child had seen her fortunes fluctuate dramatically. Beloved by Henry VIII but ostracised for failing to accept his Supremacy, only to be restored to his full affection before being ostracised by her brother, Edward VI, for refusing to comply with his Protestant reforms. Her unlikely triumph in 1553 was a sadly fleeting, for her unpopular marriage to Philip of Spain and failure to produce an heir made her reign troubled and unhappy, while the burnings of Protestant led to her being defined merely as ‘Bloody Mary’.
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