I have often doubted the veracity of this anecdote as it seems too perfect to be true, but it is still included in some historical works and it is just too striking to ignore:
Mary Queen of Scots (1542-1587) spent most of her childhood at the French court of Catherine de Medicis, as the child bride of the heir to the throne, the future Francis II of France. Catherine was famously fond of astrologers, especially her favorite, Michel de Nostredame, a.k.a Nostradamus.
On one occasion, Catherine visited Nostradamus accompanied by young Mary. She presented Mary to him and asked “Do you perceive any misfortune pending over this fair head?” Nostradamus extended a hand towards young Mary and replied:
"Madam, I see blood."
Mary was beheaded in 1587 for plotting against Queen Elizabeth I. After the execution, her bloody head accidentally rolled across the floor.
From "Happy and Glorious! An Anthology of Royalty" by Peter Vansitart (1988). Also from "The Royal Academy of Arts. A Complete Dictionary..." by Algernon Graves (1905).
|A young Mary Queen of Scots in a red coat. |
(By Francois Clouet)