English Royalty. The youngest child of King Henry VII and Elizabeth of York to survive childhood, she was a favorite of her father's and considered to be one of the most beautiful ladies in Europe at the time. Mary was promised in marriage to Charles, the future Holy Roman Emperor, but the contract was cancelled by her brother Henry VIII. He betrothed her instead to French king Louis XII, who was 34 years her senior and described as "feeble and pocky". Mary, already in love with her brother's good friend Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, begged to be released from the betrothal. In the end she made a deal with her brother: she would do her duty as a princess and marry King Louis, but in the event she survived him (which was likely), she would then marry a man of her own choosing, for love alone. Anxious for the marriage to take place, Henry agreed. Mary married Louis on October 9, 1514. The marriage lasted only 82 days before Louis' death. Although Henry tried to ignore his agreement and arrange her marriage to a Hapsburg prince, Mary took matters into her own hands and secretly married Charles Brandon in France on May 13, 1515. Henry was at first furious, but the couple was soon forgiven. They had four children: Henry, Frances, Eleanor and Henry, 1st Earl of Lincoln. Having suffered through the sweating sickness in 1518, Mary was left much weakened, and died at Westhorpe, Suffolk at the age of 37.
Bio by: Kristen Conrad