First marriage: Queen of France
Mary was the fourth child of Henry VII of England and Elizabeth of York, and the youngest to survive infancy. She was born at Sheen Palace, "most probably" in March 1496. A privy seal bill dated from midsummer 1496 authorizes a payment of 50 shillings to her nurse, Anne Skeron. Also, Erasmus stated that she was four years old when he visited the royal nursery in 1499–1500. At age six, she was given her own household, complete with "a staff of gentlewomen assigned to wait upon her," a schoolmaster, and a physician. She was given instruction in French, Latin, music, dancing, and embroidery.
As children, Mary and her brother, the future King Henry VIII, shared a close friendship. He named his first surviving child, the future Queen Mary I, in her honour. They lost their mother when Mary was just seven, and given the number of bills paid to her apothecary from 1504 to 1509, it would appear that Mary's own health was fragile.
A sketch of Mary during her brief period as queen of France
Known in her youth as one of the most beautiful princesses in Europe, Erasmus said of her that "Nature never formed anything more beautiful."
In 1506, during a visit from Philip I of Castile, Mary was called to entertain the guests, dancing, and playing the lute and clavicord. In September 1506, Philip died, and on 21 December 1507, Mary was betrothed to his son Charles, later Holy Roman Emperor. The betrothal was called off in 1513.
Instead, Cardinal Wolsey negotiated a peace treaty with France, and on 9 October 1514, at the age of 18, Mary married the 52-year-old King Louis XII of France at Abbeville. She was accompanied to France by four English maids of honour, one of whom was Anne Boleyn, under the supervision of her old governess lady Joan "Mother" Guildford, who acted as her principal lady-in-waiting.
Despite two previous marriages, Louis had no living sons, and sought to produce one, but he died on 1 January 1515, less than three months after marrying Mary, reputedly worn out by his exertions in the bedchamber, but more likely from the effects of gout. Their union produced no children. Following Louis's death, the new king Francis I made attempts to arrange a second marriage for the beautiful widow.