How Historically Accurate Is Reign?

Over the last 10 years there has been an explosion in the number of period drama-themed TV shows, according to Marie Claire. We have been introduced to the likes of "Bridgerton" and "The Crown," as well as the epic sagas depicted in shows like "Vikings." However, many of the shows that have done really well are those focused on royalty. Whether it's the story of Henry VIII and his wives or Catherine the Great seizing power to become empress of Russia, we can't seem to get enough of royal drama. As such, it makes sense that one of the more popular period TV series' in recent years is "Reign," which tells the story of Mary, Queen of Scots .... sort of.

"Reign," starring Adelaide Kane as Mary, follows the young queen as she journeys to France to wed Prince Francis. As with all royal marriages during these times, drama of course ensues in the French court, from infidelity, to arranged marriages, broken hearts, and deaths. While Mary does hold the title of queen for a short time in France, she eventually returns home to Scotland to become its ruler. Despite being among her people, her reign came with its own significant set of challenges.

Made up characters doing things that never happened

With the rise in popularity of these historically-themed shows, it always begs the question whether they are historically accurate. "Reign," it turns out, is filled with historical inaccuracies. One of the more obvious flaws revolves around the royal family line. According to Reign CW, there are multiple characters in the show who were not actual historical figures, including Francis' illegitimate son, and half-sister known as Clarissa. They also gave Francis a half-brother, Sebastian, who historically did not exist at all, according to Naked History.

Apart from characters who didn't exist doing things that never happened, there was one event that stood out as possibly the biggest historical inaccuracy in the entire series. Once Mary became the Queen of Scots, she had a tense relationship with her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I of England. *Spoiler Alert* The show ends with Mary being beheaded for the crime of murdering her husband. While the Queen of Scots was indeed executed in real life, it was for treason against Elizabeth, not for killing her hubby.

"Reign" appears to be more focused on creating drama to engage audiences, rather than telling the historic reality of what happened to Mary, Queen of Scots.