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Mary was also rumoured to have been a mistress of Henry VIII's rival, King Francis I of France.
Her father was the new English ambassador to France. Even when Queen Mary left France after she was widowed on 1 January 1515, Mary remained behind at the court of Louis' successor, Francois I and his queen consort Claude.
Mary was joined in Paris by her father, Sir Thomas, and her sister, Anne, who had been studying in the Netherlands for the past year. During this time Mary is supposed to have embarked on several affairs, including one with King Francis himself. Although some historians believe that the reports of her sexual affairs are exaggerated, the French king referred to her as "The English Mare" and as "una grandissima ribalda, infame sopra tutte" ("a great slag, infamous above all").
She returned to England in 1519, where she was appointed a maid-of-honour to Katherine of Aragon, the Queen consort of Henry VIII.