Mary, Queen of Scots (also known as Mary Stuart or Queen Mary I) was the queen of Scotland from December 1542 until she was forced by Scottish nobles to abdicate the throne in 1567. She sought protection from her cousin Queen Elizabeth I, but instead she was held captive for 18 years until she was executed. Mary, Queen of Scots, led an unbelievable life of ups and downs. But apart from her tragic death, she was famous for her Four Marys: her ladies-in-waiting. Here are things you need to know about them:

The four Marys were the Queen of Scots’s lifelong friends

The four Marys – Mary Beaton, Mary Seton, Mary Fleming, and Mary Livingston – escorted Mary Queen of Scots as a child to France in 1548. They became the Queen’s closest companions and cherished friends. When the queen’s first husband passed away, the four Mary’s made a vow of chastity, promising that they would not marry until the queen had remarried.

Mary Beaton was known for her classic beauty

Mary Beaton or Bethune came from a distinguished family and was eighteen months older than the queen. Among the four ladies-in-waiting, Beaton was considered the most beautiful.

Mary Seton never married and faithfully served Mary even without pay

Mary Seton was the only one who did not get married — she was reluctant to break their vow of chastity. She was a distinguished hairdresser, and Mary relied on her a lot especially because her hair thinned out. Seton remained in Mary’s service, even during her many years of captivity in England, and was not paid.

Mary Fleming was considered the “flower of the flock”

Mary Fleming inherited her mother’s good looks and was considered the “flower of the flock.” George Buchanan, Mary’s tutor, wrote verses in honor of Mary Fleming, who was dubbed the “Queen of the Bean” on Twelfth Night in 1564.

Mary Livingston’s husband tried to help Mary escape from Lochleven

Mary Livingstone was a great dancer and good horse rider. Mary supported and helped her to marry the man she loved, John Sempill. In return, the couple remained faithfully loyal to Mary with John even organizing a plan to help her escape from Lochleven castle. Unfortunately, his plan was discovered and he was found guilty of treason.