Study Guide

Princess Mary in The Other Boleyn Girl

By Philippa Gregory

Princess Mary

Born: Feb 18, 1516, Died: Nov 17, 1558
Known for: Being Mary I, the very first Queen Regent, from 1553 until her death; restoring Catholicism England; burning Protestants. (Source)

Bloody Mary

Princess Mary is a girl who would be queen, but it's hard to tell that from what little we know about her in this book. We see her mostly as a sickly girl. "She looked like a girl who could quite easily fade away, catch a little cold and die of it" (14.378). Henry is always disappointed in her, even though she is his only living child with Katherine of Aragon.

Later in life, Mary is forced to raise Anne's daughter, a girl who temporarily knocks Mary out of the running for the throne. Mary Boleyn thinks, "I thought Anne cruel to make Katherine's daughter a witness of the birth of the child that would disinherit her" (39.1). Yeah, well, cruelty is Anne's greatest strength.

There is some foreshadowing as to Mary's future early on, when Mary Boleyn says, "Princess Mary could become queen in her own right and not marry. […] Rule as a queen on her own" (2.114). Anne responds, "A girl can't rule a country like this, the great lords'd eat her alive" (2.115). It's the rare occasion when Anne is completely wrong, but this is one of them.

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