12. Wrong: Mary I of Scotland, in line with the customs and fashion styles of the 16th century, would not have worn a multitude of earrings
A minor historical grievance, but nevertheless an inaccuracy, as represented in Mary, Queen of Scots – which received an Academy Award nomination for Best Costume Design – Mary I of Scotland was a passionate fan of earrings. Seen throughout the movie wearing a series of jewelry pieces, of greatest notice is the repeated appearance of earrings on the Scottish warrior-queen. Ear piercing, as a fashion trend, dramatically declined in popularity throughout Europe after the tenth century, only enjoying a minor resurgence in popularity during the sixteenth century before becoming mainstream again in more recent times.
However, even allowing for the possibility that Mary Stuart was among those advocating the return of earrings – a plausible suggestion with earrings sometimes included in portraiture of the monarch – there is no indication women wore several earrings in the same ear at the same time. Furthermore, more generally the designs used in Mary, Queen of Scots were inaccurate for the sixteenth century. Whilst representations of Mary, as well as surviving pieces from the period, are commonly of single-stud or unobtrusive styles, the film depicts Mary wearing multiple hoop earrings, a design unrecorded and completely opposing contextual styles.