Ex-tour guide slams inaccuracy of new Mary Queen of Scots film

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A FORMER tour guide with a passion for history has hit out at a glaring inaccuracy in the new Mary Queen of Scots film.

The trailer for the blockbuster, due out in January, shows a heated discussion between Mary Stuart and Queen Elizabeth I.

Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan, who play Queen Elizabeth and Mary, Queen of Scots in the film, never actually met, argues one former tour guide. Picture: Focus Features

Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan, who play Queen Elizabeth and Mary, Queen of Scots in the film, never actually met, argues one former tour guide. Picture: Focus Features

But Evelyn Robertson, a retired tour guide across Edinburgh and Mary Queen of Scots enthusiast, said that had a meeting between the two Queens taken place, the course of history could have changed.

The recently released trailer shows a tense scene between Queen Mary, played by Saoirse Ronan, and her rival Queen Elizabeth I, played by Margot Robbie.

In the private exchange, Mary says: “My dear cousin, let our nations cherish each other.

“Do not play into their hands. Our hatred is precisely what they hope for.

“I know your heart has more within it than the men who counsel you.”

Elizabeth responds: “You would do well to watch your words.”

To which Mary retorts: “I will not be scolded by my inferior.”

She spits back: “Your inferior?”

Ms Robertson said some inaccuracies were expected when history was transported onto the big screen, but including the scene was a significant error.

She said: “You’re going to get inaccuracies, but that stuck out for me.

“If Mary had had a chance to talk to Elizabeth face to face, they could have sorted out a lot of things that weren’t true and Mary might not have been beheaded.

“Elizabeth was quite sure Mary was after her throne, but they never spoke or met.

“She told Elizabeth she had done nothing to offend her, but Elizabeth paid no attention. She was so sure Mary wanted her throne. Mary wrote loads and loads of letters, but Elizabeth never responded.”

Ms Robertson, whose knack for facts and love of history drew her to tour guiding, 
said an imagined affair in 
Braveheart was not the same as including a fictional meeting between the rival 
queens.

“How could anyone get it so wrong?” she said.

“A meeting between Mary and Elizabeth could have changed the course of history.”

History buffs agreed, posting comments on the YouTube trailer, with Manan Jan saying: “Too bad Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary NEVER met each other in their lifetime. Queen Mary appealed many times to see Elizabeth while under house arrest in England, but Elizabeth never complied.”

Miss Alyss added: “This looks like it won’t be an accurate portraying of history and I’m only annoyed because I am fascinated with the queens (especially Elizabeth) and their relationship.”

The £180 million project, written by House of Cards creator Beau Willimon, was shot partly in Edinburgh and is based on John Guy’s biography My Heart Is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots.

The film boasts a classy cast, including Scottish actor Jack Lowden as Lord Darnley, Mary Queen of Scots’ second husband. David Tennant stars as John Knox, a cleric, and Joe Alwyn as Robert Dudley.

fiona.pringle@jpress.co.uk