Rosemary Goring: Mary Queen of Scots almost didn’t get her head chopped off

Much to the disappointment of filmmakers and novelists, Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots never actually met. Not that this has stopped them imagining the scene. Indeed, the moment when white-faced Bess sets eyes on flame-haired Mary is usually the centrepiece of the drama, the cog around which all the fictional wheels whirr.

Rosemary Goring: Mary Queen of Scots almost didn’t get her head chopped off
Much to the disappointment of filmmakers and novelists, Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots never actually met. Not that this has stopped them imagining the scene. Indeed, the moment when white-faced Bess sets eyes on flame-haired Mary is usually the centrepiece of the drama, the cog around which all the fictional wheels whirr.