Margaret was the much loved and pampered daughter of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. Married to the charismatic James IV of Scotland, her life as a Queen Consort was honourable and happy, up until his untimely death.
Her marriage was arranged to bring peace between England and Scotland and Margaret’s wedding trip reflected the importance with which the union was viewed by both countries. However, diplomacy failed in 1512, in part over the issue of an inheritance, and war broke out between her native and her adopted countries. James IV was killed, along with the cream of the Scottish nobility, at the Battle of Flodden in 1513 and, as a widow of twenty-three, Margaret struggled to maintain her position in a violent and divided nation.
Acting as Regent for her son, James V, Margaret became the first Tudor woman to rule a kingdom. Despite the crippling blow of Flodden, it is Margaret’s descendants, not her brother, Henry VIII’s, that carried on the royal bloodlines of England as well as Scotland.
Listen to our editor, Melita Thomas, discussing Margaret Tudor with Heather Teysko of the Renaissance English History Podcast.