Elizabeth I was born in 1533 as the daughter to King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. However, within a couple of years of Elizabeth’s birth her mother, Anne was executed and she was declared as an illegitimate child. Elizabeth became the Queen of England in 1558, after the death of Mary I.
Elizabeth was the last monarch belonging to the Tudor dynasty. With the death of Elizabeth I, ended the long ruled Tudor’s reign who had strived for so long for the betterment of England.
Henry VIII was the King of England in the 1500’s. Henry’s first wife was Catherine of Aragon and together they had a daughter named Mary. However, after coming to know that a daughter is born to him, he annulled his marriage with Catherine of Aragon as he was desperately seeking a son who would succeed him to the throne.
As a result of the annulment, Mary lost her status as a legitimate heir to the throne. King Henry married Anne Boleyn and again, he was blessed with a daughter. They named their daughter Elizabeth after her two grandmothers, Elizabeth of York and Elizabeth Howard.
Elizabeth was the second child of King Henry from his second marriage. At this time, Henry was very determinate to have a son who would carry on the Tudor name. After the birth of Elizabeth, Anne was pregnant twice but unfortunately both the times she had a miscarriage.
King Henry by this time was fed up with Anne as she failed to give him his heir. In order to get rid of her, Henry got Anne arrested on the basis of some falsely implanted charges. During the trial, these charges were proved and Anne was executed in the Tower of London in 1536.
After the death of her mother, Elizabeth was declared as an illegitimate child of Henry and thus lost her position as a legitimate heir, like her older half-sister Mary. Barely eleven days had passed since the death of Anne when Henry VIII married his third wife, Jane Seymour. Finally, his third wife bore him a son who was named Edward.
Family of Queen Elizabeth I
Jane did not survive for a long time after the birth of her son and passed away after twelve days of his birth. After the death of his third wife, Henry married thrice. His marriage to his fourth wife Anne of Cleves was annulled as both of them did not find each other agreeable.
Henry’s fifth wife, Katharine Howard was Elizabeth’s cousin and she influenced Elizabeth’s life to a certain extent. At the time of Katharine’s first public diner, she made the little Elizabeth sit next to her. Katharine Parr, the sixth and the last wife of King Henry VIII, had the greatest impact on Elizabeth’s life.
She was very fond of the Tudor siblings and would always want them to be around her. However, their younger sister, Mary was not so influenced by Katharine. It was Katharine who laid the foundation of education in Elizabeth’s life and made her realize the importance of education. She also appointed the best tutors to educate Elizabeth. It can be said that Elizabeth’s love for reading was because of Katharine.
Death of Henry VIII
King Henry VIII died in 1547 and the young children were thus orphaned. Edward VI succeeded his father to become the King at the age of nine years. However, he died soon because of an illness. After the death of her husband, Katharine Parr married almost immediately Thomas Seymour of Sudeley, Edward’s uncle. This newly married couple took Elizabeth to stay with them at their house at Chelsea.
By this time, Thomas, who was nearing his forties had developed some feelings for the young Elizabeth. It is said that he would even go to her bedroom in his nightgown after she would fall asleep. Katharine came to know about this when she was heavily pregnant with Thomas’s child and decided to send Elizabeth away. Katharine however, did not live for a long time after the birth of her child.
After the death of Katharine, Thomas again focused on Elizabeth, this time with an intention to marry her and control England. His plans did not materialize and he was beheaded in 1549. Elizabeth had to see the death of her half-brother Edward VI, with whom she shared a close relationship. She also underwent imprisonment so that her Catholic sister, Mary I could become the Queen. Despite all the odds, Elizabeth survived her near execution and was eventually crowned the Queen of England after the death of her sister Mary I.