Rivalry, assassination plots, and the crown at stake... Elizabeth & Mary collection draws inspiration from two of Great Britain's most well-known monarchs: Elizabeth I, also known as the Virgin Queen as well as Gloriana (the name of the heroine of an allegorical poem by Edmund Spencer's "Fairy Queen") and her cousin Mary Stuart, also known as Mary, Queen of Scots.
Queen Elizabeth I (1533 - 1603), the last Tudor monarch (and some say the greatest that England has ever known), reigned for 45 years, a period which saw literature flourish throughout the land. Throughout her reign, Elizabeth I, never married and was finally succeeded by James VI of Scotland, son of Mary, Queen of Scots.
Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots (1542 - 1567) ascended the throne at merely 6 days old, when her father died. Seeking to restore Catholicism in England, she became a pawn in all the royal intrigue and power struggles that were taking place, and ultimately wound up imprisoned in England for 19 years, before finally being executed at Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire, at the age of 44.
The birthplace of Richard III and place of execution of Mary, Queen of Scots, Fotheringhay Castle was founded in 1100 AD by Simon de St, Liz (Senlis), Earl of Northampton and Huntingdon. Today, only the earthworks and the conical motte remain of the castle, its stones having been robbed and carted away by locals in order to build their own homes after Mary’s execution.
The thistle has been the national emblem of Scotland since the XIII century. Thorns often occur all over the plant - on surfaces such as those of the stem and flat parts of leaves. Crown of Thistles metaphorically symbolises the fatal heritage of the Queen of Scots.
Text kindly provided by Eugenia Ragas