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February 1554, Guildhall, London. Queen Mary the 1st, England's first queen regnant, is about to make the most important, rallying speech of her life.
Her good friend and advisor, Sir Francis Englefield, is with her all the way, supporting her Roman heritage. Mary plans to marry the Catholic Prince of Spain, Philip II, much against the advice of her parliament and most of the people. Even before the lavish wedding ceremony at Salisbury Cathedral, Mary finds she is deeply in love with Philip.
Juggling the tasks of governing a country, putting down rebellions and keeping Philip in England rather than Spain, Mary faces an overwhelming amount of challenges. Soon, sweeping changes, civil unrest and war turn their country upside down.
In vivid detail, Derek Ansell's The Titian Portrait follows the life of Mary I, a queen in her own right and an almost forgotten figure in history.