From the day she is born, Mary Stuart's hand in marriage is coveted with such "rough wooing" her mother sends the five-year-old Queen of Scotland to France as the betrothed of Dauphin Francois whom she marries at 15. Mary's reign as Queen of France comes to an abrupt end after only a year, upon the death of Francois at the age of 16. Having lost her claim to the French throne, Mary returns alone to Scotland. As a Catholic, she faces the hostility of the Protestant leader John Knox and is reviled by her people as an unmarried French whore. It soon becomes clear that Mary must have a husband. She weds again and gives birth to an heir to the throne, but her second husband Lord Darnley proves to be a weakling. When Mary finds the love of her life, the Earl of Bothwell, she has Darnley murdered and marries Bothwell. Horrified by this deed and the blind passion that motivated it, the nobles and the people of Scotland spurn her. Her once dear friend the Queen of England imprisons her.