World of Costume

Upcoming Period Dramas: Mary, Queen of Scots

It appears that Mary, Queen of Scots, the cousin of Elizabeth I, is a popular subject as there will be (at least) three period dramas this and next year on the tragic Queen of Scotland.

English: Mary Queen of Scots in an official po...
English: Mary Queen of Scots in an official portrait. Italiano: Maria Stuarda, regina di Scozia, in un ritratto ufficiale. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Reign (2013) – TV
Release date: 17 October 2013

The CW Network will be coming out with a series on the young Queen in her earlier years in France in 1557. Mary, Queen of Scots will be played by Australian actress, Adelaide Kane. According to Deadline, this CW production is described as “Game of Thrones (2011-Present) meets Marie Antoinette (2006).” Or, as ClevverNews points out, GoT meets Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl. As you can see from this preview video, it’s a teenage drama.

If you are interested in reading teenage literature on Mary, The Royal Diaries series has a book on her: Mary, Queen of Scots: Queen Without a Country – 1553 France.

MARY Queen of Scots (2013) – Movie
Release date: 2013


All that we know for now is that it is a 125 min. Swiss film in English and French, filmed in Switzerland. Camille Rutherford will portray Mary. According to Swissinfo, filmmaker Thomas Imbach will be focusing on Mary’s life from “cradle to grave.” I like the fact that they cast Scottish actors (though Camille seems to have a French accent, perhaps due to the fact that Mary had spent her 13 years in France). (Most films nowadays tend to have all royals and aristocrats speaking in some form of “British English” accent.) Playing Lord Darnley is Aneurin Barnard, who plays Richard III in BBC’s The White Queen. Take a look at the collage and introductory video, as well as the trailer:

Mary Queen of Scots (2018) – Movie
Release Date: 7 Dec 2018 USA / 18 Jan 2019 UK

This is the one I’m looking forward to most. Michael Hirst is the screenplay writer (he did The Tudors, Elizabeth, Elizabeth: The Golden Age) and Irish actress, Saoirse Ronan, will play Mary. The film will begin with Mary returning to Scotland from France as a young 18-year-old widow. (Updated: 28 May 2018)


In the meantime, you can watch the miniseries, Gunpowder, Treason & Plot (2004), which is loosely based on the lives of Mary, Queen of Scots – played by French actress, Clemence Poesy – and her son, James I.