Happy Birthday, Elizabeth Tudor!

The "Darnley Portrait" of Elizabeth I of England. Photo Credit- National Portrait Gallery

The “Darnley Portrait” of Elizabeth I of England. Photo Credit- National Portrait Gallery

What can we say that has not been said about the Virgin Queen? Gloriana shines brightly even now. However, if you were born and have been living under a rock, here is a little bit on my favorite Tudor.

Elizabeth was born to Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn on September 7, 1533. Instead of the longed for prince, she was a very unwelcome princess. Henry had moved heaven and earth to marry his mistress to get a legitimate son. This began the long decline of Anne Boleyn, which led to her death on the scaffold when Elizabeth was two years old. No one thought the little girl would amount to anything.

However, Elizabeth was the pawn in the game that makes it across the board and past all the dangers to become Queen. The day of her coronation was probably the happiest day of her life. Witnesses report she was practically laughing with joy when she left Westminster Abbey. But even this happy day was marred with the religious conflict that was rife throughout her lifetime. The ceremony was a compromise between the traditional Catholic ritual and the Protestant practices Elizabeth was reintroducing. Despite this, she was greeted with cheers and applause when she left the Abbey wearing her crown.

Her reign was called the Golden Age and brought in Shakespeare, the New World and dragged England into the Renaissance. However, it wasn’t always rainbows and roses. There were fights over religion, marriage and heirs. The Spanish had to be beaten back. Through it all, Elizabeth persevered and brought England safely through. She refused to marry saying England was her spouse. In what was very much a man’s world, this was a revolutionary statement. Despite all the pressure on her to marry and produce an heir, she resisted maintaining “there would be one mistress here, and no master”.

In November 1601, she made a speech to Parliament, which is widely known as the Golden Speech. In it she said, “It is not my desire to live or reign longer than my life and reign shall be for your good. And though you have had, and may have, many mightier and wiser princes sitting in this seat, yet you never had, nor shall have, any that will love you better.”

And that is the truth I shall leave you with. If you would like to learn more about this amazing woman, please see the links below. Happy Birthday, Elizabeth. Long may you reign!

ER

The Lion’s Cubs-  http://www.historynaked.com/lions-cubs-children-henry-viii/

Elizabeth the early years-  http://www.historynaked.com/elizabeth-tudor-early-years/

Elizabeth and Mary-   http://www.historynaked.com/elizabeth-mary-ever-devoted-sisters/

Elizabeth and Mary part 2- http://wp.me/p7RlFb-eq

The last days of Elizabeth- http://wp.me/p7RlFb-5Y