Meghan Markle may be a gossip magnet today, but it was Mary of Modena who practically invented royal scandal. The wife of King James II of England, Mary’s “fairy tale” life was actually full of shameful secrets, bitter exile, and a pregnancy that rocked an entire nation. Hold onto that crown—you don’t want to suffer Mary’s fate.

Mary Of Modena Facts

1. Her Family Was Powerful

Mary of Modena was born into a world of power, but she’d have to wait a long time to wield some of her own. Born Mary Beatrice d’Este in 1658, she was the eldest child of the influential Duke and Duchess of Modena. Still, any inheritance skipped Mary and went right to her younger brother Francesco. That’s okay, though, Mary found a different way to get what she wanted…

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