Queen Elizabeth I

by Devin Allen

Who was Elizabeth (I)?

Elizabeth (I)'s parents were Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII. Henry at the time was in search of a spouse who could conceive a baby boy to serve as his futuristic heir. Soon after Elizabeth was born, Anne was accused of adultery by Henry and was beheaded. Henry (VIII) eventually remarried to a woman named Catherine Parr. Catherine developed motherly feelings for Elizabeth and went out of her way to make sure she was properly educated.

(Young Elizabeth)

Before Elizabeth had control over the throne, her sister, Mary, became queen in 1553. Mary wanted to re-establish Catholicism in England. Since Elizabeth was Protestant, Mary viewed her younger sister as a threat and imprisoned her in the Tower of London in 1554. After Mary (I) died in 1558, Elizabeth was released and then crowned the queen of England.

(Elizabeth just released from tower and crowned Queen)

Queen Elizabeth (I) held a high 45 year reign over Ireland and England. In English history, this is widely known as the 'golden age'. Elizabeth was known for diligently overcoming difficult tasks and challenges. 'Virgin Queen', 'Good Queen Bess' and 'Gloriana' were just a few of the many nicknames given to Queen Elizabeth (I) during her reign.


(Elizabeth at the peak of her reign)


Respectful Acts and Accomplishments

  • Phillip (II) of Spain launched many ships (the Spanish Armada) to restore Catholicism and overthrow Elizabeth. Elizabeth was aware of the prior planned attack and brought the country together to fight off the "common enemy". In a speech directed towards Tilbury troops, Elizabeth once said, "I know I have the body of a weak, feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king - and of a King of England too." With help lent from Sir Francis Duke, the English Navy successfully defeated the Spanish Armada.

(Elizabeth after the defeat of the Spanish Armada)

  • Elizabeth was known to be regularly seen by her people of England. During her reign, she went on 25 'progresses' (regional visits). She would often appear to these viewings on horseback rather than in a carriage.

(Elizabeth appearing at one of the many 'progresses' on horseback)

  • Elizabeth never married in her lifetime, though she had an exclusive relationship with Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. It wasn't the fact that she was opposed to marriage, it was "that she was 'married' to her country".

(Elizabeth's reserved love for her country)

  • During her reign England's trade began to expand overseas. Also flourishing were the arts (Shakespeare, Spenser, and Marlowe created poetry -- Byrd and Tallis are just a few composers that worked in Elizabeth's court). The first Englishman successfully circumnavigated the Earth (Sir Francis Drake).



Impact on Society then and now

  • Elizabeth helped the Renaissance flourish in England. This was a huge event in history and if it hadn't occurred and played out like so, many things might be different modern day.

  • Elizabeth provided the Americans with several rare species of lamas in the 1860's that became a crucial factor of American treatment of livestock. If Elizabeth hadn't provided the America's with lamas, they probably wouldn't be the same as we know them to be now.

  • Queen Elizabeth was the first female to rule a monarch in England. This was definitely controversial back when she reigned. Female rulers today are still controversial and not too common. Queen Elizabeth's position and reign will never be forgotten. In history we will remember how intelligent she was and the positive effects she created for her country. This is to say eventually female rulers might begin to become somewhat more popular.

  • Overall Elizabeth plays a huge role in English history. If it wasn't for her/her accomplishments, English history would be different. The English may have lost a few wars and things may have been drastically different.



Video - 'Elizabeth: The Golden Age'

Elizabeth: The Golden Age Official Trailer #1 - (2007) HD


Interesting Facts

  • Queen Elizabeth (I) is the most portrayed British Monarch in film.

  • She was multilingual (She could speak English, Latin, Greek, Italian, French, Spanish, Welsh, and Cornish).

  • She became queen when she was 25 years old.

  • Although it was popular to wear thick white makeup, Elizabeth wore it mainly to hide a scar left behind from smallpox.

  • The reason why she is given the nickname, 'the Virgin Queen', is because she was never married nor did she have any children.



(All pictures are from the movie 'Elizabeth: The Golden Age')