Queen Elizabeth, I was a remarkable queen that England was fortunate to have. Despite a number of setbacks and downfalls, she managed to, literally, reign supreme. Many people in the 16th century thought that woman is not fit to rule, but she proved them wrong. She was a great influence on all aspects of Elizabethan England life. Arts, drama, fashion, politics, international affairs, all bore her indelible mark on them.
Elizabeth was born on 7 September 1533.she was the daughter of King Henry VIII and his wife Anne Boleyn. Her birth took place at the Greenwich Palace. Her father was not so pleased with her birth as he wanted a male heir who will later descend the throne.
Tragic circumstances surround the early childhood of Queen Elizabeth I. Her mother, Anne Boleyn was executed when she was merely three years old. Previously Anne was the lady in waiting to King Henry’s first Wife Earl of Essex, Catherine of Aragon. Anne was accused of incest and high treason. And her father, the king, declared her as illegitimate in order to marry Lady Jane Seymour. As a result, she was given up to a string of nurses, governesses, and tutors.
Her education saw no deficiency or lack, she was perhaps more educated than any lady of her class. She lived with Catherine Parr, her stepmother, for a time. She was crowned the Queen of England in 1558 and continued her rule for 44 years one of the greatest monarchs till March 1603. It is rumored that she undertook trips with no less than three hundred pelisses.
Facts About Queen Elizabeth I
Nicknames – Queen Elizabeth I was also known as the Virgin Queen, Gloriana and the faerie Queen. Elizabeth was also popular as Good Queen Bess, to her near and dear ones.
Love for Mother – Queen did not show it to all, but she loved her mother very much. She always had a respect and love for her family, despite taking care of their positions at the Royal Court. Elizabeth carried a locket on her necklace that had her mother’s portrait.
Queen by Luck – As Elizabeth was a woman and that too second daughter of King Henry VIII, she was not likely to be a queen and rule. The monarchy came to her as her younger brother Edward VI and her older sister Mary I, both died without leaving any successors.
Virgin Queen – Although Queen Elizabeth ruled for long 44 years, she never married. During her reign, she attracted many suitors which also include foreign royals and many high ranking men of the court, but she never ever married or never named an heir. She was in love with England and is said to married England only.
Last Tudor – As Elizabeth did not have any heir, she was the last Tudor of her monarchy.
A Learned Lady – Queen was one of the most educated ladies of her generation. She spoke many languages that included French, Flemish, English, Greek and Italian. Apart from speaking in these languages, she could write in Latin. Her speaking mastery over Welsh, Cornish, Irish and Scottish was also well versed.
Queen Elizabeth in Prison – After the death of King Edward, Mary Tudor became the new Queen. She was a follower of Catholicism and forced one and all to follow the same. People hated Mary. Now Queen Mary had insecurities that Elizabeth would take over her throne. Hence she put Elizabeth in prison for being protestant. Elizabeth had actually spent two months in the cell of the jail located at the Tower of London.
Execution of her Half Sister – Although Elizabeth had many enemies, one of them was her half-sister Mary Queen of Scots. She was imprisoned by Queen when Mary turned against her and the English throne. Mary was imprisoned for 18 years before she was beheaded. However, there is an interesting fact which says that Mary and Queen had never met each other in person. Ironically, they both are buried in the same place, Westminster Abbey.
Religious Settlement Act – Before the reign of Elizabeth, their predecessors have seen much diversity in terms of religion in England. Her father Henry VIII separated himself from the Church of Rome and announced himself as the Supreme Head of the Church of England. Her brother Edward VI was in favor of Protestantism while her sister Mary favored Roman Catholicism.
Elizabeth I found a solution to all these diverse and established a religious settlement act that was midway between Roman Catholics and Protestantism.
A Lady with Great sense of Fashion – She was as fashionable as she was politically astute. Her gowns and fans became trendsetters in Elizabethan England. The practices of making the skin appear pale and white were begun by Queen Elizabeth herself. Her style was dressing was opulent as well as extravagant.
Sweet Tooth – Queen Elizabeth I is purported to have had a sweet tooth, owing to which her teeth suffered a lot. She lost many of them with growing age. She uses to stuff her mouth with cloth pieces in public to hide her sunken cheeks.
Her Incomplete Love Story – Although, Queen Elizabeth I never married, she was never for the want of admirer, Robert Dudley, being among the most prominent ones. She was about to marry him when his first wife died, but as political climate was against it, they always remained close friends.
War With Spain – Hers is a notable contribution to England being a state to reckon with, after several successful explorations and the defeat of the so-called indefatigable Spanish Armada.
The Elizabethan Age – Under the reign of Elizabeth, Spanish were defeated which brought prosperity, expansion, and peace in the United Kingdom. Hence this time was also referred to as the Golden Age in the history of England.
Death – Queen Elizabeth I passed away at the ripe age of 67 in 1603 and was buried in Westminster Abby. A feat not achieved by any king or queen of her dynasty. She then passed her reign to the King James VI of Scotland.