Upon her half-sister’s death in 1558, Elizabeth succeeded to the throne and set out to rule by good counsel.
 Henry IV of France said that one of the great questions of Europe was “whether Queen Elizabeth was a maid or no”.
Her half-brother Edward VI ruled until his death in 1553, bequeathing the crown to Lady Jane Grey and ignoring the claims of his two half-sisters, the Roman Catholic Mary
and the younger Elizabeth, in spite of statute law to the contrary.
Elizabeth confronted Mary about the marriage, writing to her: How could a worse choice be made for your honour than in such haste to marry such a subject, who besides other
and notorious lacks, public fame has charged with the murder of your late husband, besides the touching of yourself also in some part, though we trust in that behalf falsely.
 Although Elizabeth was welcomed as queen in England, the country was still in a state of anxiety over the perceived Catholic threat at home and overseas, as well as the
choice of whom she would marry.
While risking possible loss of power like her sister, who played into the hands of King Philip II of Spain, marriage offered the chance of an heir.
 Elizabeth’s proclamation of the sentence announced that “the said Mary, pretending title to the same Crown, had compassed and imagined within the same realm divers things
tending to the hurt, death and destruction of our royal person.
Instead, on 22 May, Elizabeth was moved from the Tower to Woodstock, where she was to spend almost a year under house arrest in the charge of Sir Henry Bedingfeld.
Nevertheless, Elizabeth was forced to accept the title of Supreme Governor of the Church of England rather than the more contentious title of Supreme Head, which many thought
unacceptable for a woman to bear.
 In the years around 1559 a Dano-English Protestant alliance was considered, and to counter Sweden’s proposal, King Frederick II proposed to Elizabeth in late 1559.
 In 1563 Elizabeth proposed her own suitor, Robert Dudley, as a husband for Mary, without asking either of the two people concerned.
 At first, Elizabeth resisted calls for Mary’s death.
 Among other marriage candidates being considered for the queen, Robert Dudley continued to be regarded as a possible candidate for nearly another decade.
If Mary and her child died, Elizabeth would become queen, but if Mary gave birth to a healthy child, Elizabeth’s chances of becoming queen would recede sharply.
 King Philip, who ascended the Spanish throne in 1556, acknowledged the new political reality and cultivated his sister-in-law.
One of her first actions as queen was the establishment of an English Protestant church, of which she became the supreme governor.
Mary’s initial popularity ebbed away in 1554 when she announced plans to marry Philip of Spain, the son of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and an active Catholic.
 Her silence, however, strengthened her own political security: she knew that if she named an heir, her throne would be vulnerable to a coup; she remembered the way that
“a second person, as I have been” had been used as the focus of plots against her predecessor.
 At first, only Elizabeth made a virtue of her ostensible virginity: in 1559, she told the Commons, “And, in the end, this shall be for me sufficient, that a marble stone
shall declare that a queen, having reigned such a time, lived and died a virgin”.
Thomas Seymour nevertheless continued scheming to control the royal family and tried to have himself appointed the governor of the King’s person.
Mary may not have been told of every Catholic plot to put her on the English throne, but from the Ridolfi Plot of 1571 (which caused Mary’s suitor, the Duke of Norfolk, to
lose his head) to the Babington Plot of 1586, Elizabeth’s spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham and the royal council keenly assembled a case against her.
She was eventually succeeded by her first cousin twice removed, James VI of Scotland; this laid the foundation for the Kingdom of Great Britain.
 In 1563, Elizabeth told an imperial envoy: “If I follow the inclination of my nature, it is this: beggar-woman and single, far rather than queen and married”.
After the pope declared her illegitimate in 1570 and released her subjects from obedience to her, several conspiracies threatened her life, all of which were defeated with
the help of her ministers’ secret service, run by Francis Walsingham.
 She turned down the hand of Philip, her half-sister’s widower, early in 1559 but for several years entertained the proposal of King Eric XIV of Sweden.
It was expected that Elizabeth would marry and produce an heir; however, despite numerous courtships, she never did.
Having previously promised to marry, she told an unruly House: I will never break the word of a prince spoken in public place, for my honour’s sake.
 Three letters exist today describing the interview, detailing what Arthur proclaimed to be the story of his life, from birth in the royal palace to the time of his arrival
 Elizabeth’s supporters in the government, including William Paget, 1st Baron Paget, convinced Mary to spare her sister in the absence of hard evidence against her.
Rather than risk returning Mary to Scotland with an English army or sending her to France and the Catholic enemies of England, they detained her in England, where she was
imprisoned for the next nineteen years.
[e] The Old Palace at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire, where Elizabeth lived during Mary’s reign On 17 April 1555, Elizabeth was recalled to court to attend the final
stages of Mary’s apparent pregnancy.
When it became clear that Mary was not pregnant, no one believed any longer that she could have a child.
 By the autumn of 1559, several foreign suitors were vying for Elizabeth’s hand; their impatient envoys engaged in ever more scandalous talk and reported that a marriage
with her favourite was not welcome in England: “There is not a man who does not cry out on him and her with indignation … she will marry none but the favoured Robert.
In 1569 there was a major Catholic rising in the North; the goal was to free Mary, marry her to Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, and put her on the English throne.
 Ultimately, Elizabeth would insist she was married to her kingdom and subjects, under divine protection.
 By 1570, senior figures in the government privately accepted that Elizabeth would never marry or name a successor.
 She feared that the French planned to invade England and put her Catholic cousin Mary, Queen of Scots, on the throne.
She had earlier been reluctantly responsible for the imprisonment and execution of James’s mother, Mary, Queen of Scots.
 Elizabeth was two years and eight months old when her mother was beheaded on 19 May 1536, four months after Catherine of Aragon’s death from natural causes.
 A central issue, when it comes to the question of Elizabeth’s virginity, was whether the queen ever consummated her love affair with Robert Dudley.
Elizabeth’s first instinct was to restore her fellow monarch; but she and her council instead chose to play safe.
 By the age of 12 she was able to translate her stepmother Catherine Parr’s religious work Prayers or Meditations from English into Italian, Latin, and French, which she
presented to her father as a New Year’s gift.
Sometimes referred to as the Virgin Queen, Elizabeth was the last of the five monarchs of the House of Tudor.
[d] Mary I and Philip, during whose reign Elizabeth was heir presumptive The show of solidarity between the sisters did not last long.
Elizabeth’s first governess, Margaret Bryan, wrote that she was “as toward a child and as gentle of conditions as ever I knew any in my life”.
Although she received many offers, she never married and remained childless; the reasons for this are not clear.
Mary’s closest confidant, Charles V’s ambassador Simon Renard, argued that her throne would never be safe while Elizabeth lived; and Lord Chancellor Stephen Gardiner, worked
to have Elizabeth put on trial.
[j] When Mary returned to Scotland in 1561 to take up the reins of power, the country had an established Protestant church and was run by a council of Protestant nobles supported
 Earlier in Elizabeth’s life a Danish match for her had been discussed; Henry VIII had proposed one with the Danish prince Adolf, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, in
1545, and Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, suggested a marriage with Prince Frederick (later Frederick II) several years later, but the negotiations had abated in 1551.
 By the time her formal education ended in 1550, Elizabeth was one of the best educated women of her generation.
 There were even rumours that the nobility would rise if the marriage took place.
 In May 1548, Elizabeth was sent away.
In government, Elizabeth was more moderate than her father and half-siblings had been.
 Elizabeth’s first policy toward Scotland was to oppose the French presence there.
 Later in the year, following Elizabeth’s illness with smallpox, the succession question became a heated issue in Parliament.
“ Amy Dudley died in September 1560, from a fall from a flight of stairs and, despite the coroner’s inquest finding of accident, many people suspected her husband of having
arranged her death so that he could marry the queen.
 Marriage question From the start of Elizabeth’s reign it was expected that she would marry, and the question arose to whom.
Members urged the queen to marry or nominate an heir, to prevent a civil war upon her death.
The speech contains the first record of her adoption of the medieval political theology of the sovereign’s “two bodies”: the body natural and the body politic: My lords,
the law of nature moves me to sorrow for my sister; the burden that is fallen upon me makes me amazed, and yet, considering I am God’s creature, ordained to obey His appointment, I will thereto yield, desiring from the bottom of my heart that
I may have assistance of His grace to be the minister of His heavenly will in this office now committed to me.
 For several years she also seriously negotiated to marry Philip’s cousin Charles II, Archduke of Austria.
 However, after Parr discovered the pair in an embrace, she ended this state of affairs.
 As a result, the Parliament of 1559 started to legislate for a church based on the Protestant settlement of Edward VI, with the monarch as its head, but with many Catholic
elements, such as vestments.
Public tributes to the Virgin by 1578 acted as a coded assertion of opposition to the queen’s marriage negotiations with the Duke of Alençon.
 By the time William Grindal became her tutor in 1544, Elizabeth could write English, Latin, and Italian.
During Mary’s reign, Elizabeth was imprisoned for nearly a year on suspicion of supporting Protestant rebels.
 Accession Elizabeth became queen at the age of 25, and declared her intentions to her council and other peers who had come to Hatfield to swear allegiance.
Queen Jane died the next year shortly after the birth of their son, Edward, who was undisputed heir apparent to the throne.
After the short reigns of her half-siblings, her 44 years on the throne provided welcome stability for the kingdom and helped to forge a sense of national identity.
 The man claimed to be the illegitimate son of Elizabeth and Robert Dudley, with his age being consistent with birth during the 1561 illness.
[h] Elizabeth seriously considered marrying Dudley for some time.
However, Elizabeth is acknowledged as a charismatic performer (“Gloriana”) and a dogged survivor (“Good Queen Bess”) in an era when government was ramshackle and limited,
and when monarchs in neighbouring countries faced internal problems that jeopardised their thrones.
 Elizabeth was brought to court and interrogated regarding her role, and on 18 March, she was imprisoned in the Tower of London.
His will ignored the Succession to the Crown Act 1543, excluded both Mary and Elizabeth from the succession, and instead declared as his heir Lady Jane Grey, granddaughter
of Henry VIII’s younger sister Mary.
[‘1. Dates in this article before 14 September 1752 are in the Julian calendar and 1 January is treated as the beginning of the year, even though 25 March was treated as the beginning of the year in England during Elizabeth’s life.
2. ^ “I mean to
direct all my actions by good advice and counsel.”
3. ^ An Act of July 1536 stated that Elizabeth was “illegitimate … and utterly foreclosed, excluded and banned to claim, challenge, or demand any inheritance as lawful heir … to [the King]
by lineal descent”.
4. ^ Elizabeth had assembled 2,000 horsemen, “a remarkable tribute to the size of her affinity”.
5. ^ “The wives of Wycombe passed cake and wafers to her until her litter became so burdened that she had to beg them
6. ^ “It was fortunate that ten out of twenty-six bishoprics were vacant, for of late there had been a high rate of mortality among the episcopate, and a fever had conveniently carried off Mary’s Archbishop of Canterbury, Reginald
Pole, less than twenty-four hours after her own death”.
7. ^ “There were no less than ten sees unrepresented through death or illness and the carelessness of ‘the accursed cardinal’ [Pole]”.
8. ^ Most modern historians have considered
murder unlikely; breast cancer and suicide being the most widely accepted explanations. The coroner’s report, hitherto believed lost, came to light in The National Archives in the late 2000s and is compatible with a downstairs fall as well as
9. ^ On Elizabeth’s accession, Mary’s Guise relatives had pronounced her Queen of England and had the English arms emblazoned with those of Scotland and France on her plate and furniture.
10. ^ By the terms of the treaty,
both English and French troops withdrew from Scotland.
11. ^ Elizabeth’s ambassador in France was actively misleading her as to the true intentions of the Spanish king, who only tried to buy time for his great assault upon England
When the Spanish naval commander, the Duke of Medina Sidonia, reached the coast near Calais, he found the Duke of Parma’s troops unready and was forced to wait, giving the English the opportunity to launch their attack.
13. ^ For example,
C. H. Wilson castigates Elizabeth for half-heartedness in the war against Spain.
14. ^ One observer wrote that Ulster, for example, was “as unknown to the English here as the most inland part of Virginia”.
15. ^ In a letter of 19 July
1599 to Essex, Elizabeth wrote: “For what can be more true (if things be rightly examined) than that your two month’s journey has brought in never a capital rebel against whom it had been worthy to have adventured one thousand men”.
This criticism of Elizabeth was noted by Elizabeth’s early biographers William Camden and John Clapham. For a detailed account of such criticisms and of Elizabeth’s “government by illusion”
17. ^ John Cramsie, in reviewing the recent scholarship
in 2003, argued “the period 1585–1603 is now recognised by scholars as distinctly more troubled than the first half of Elizabeth’s long reign. Costly wars against Spain and the Irish, involvement in the Netherlands, socio-economic distress, and an
authoritarian turn by the regime all cast a pall over Gloriana’s final years, underpinning a weariness with the queen’s rule and open criticism of her government and its failures.”
18. ^ A Patent of Monopoly gave the holder control over an
aspect of trade or manufacture.
19. ^ “The metaphor of drama is an appropriate one for Elizabeth’s reign, for her power was an illusion—and an illusion was her power. Like Henry IV of France, she projected an image of herself which brought
stability and prestige to her country. By constant attention to the details of her total performance, she kept the rest of the cast on their toes and kept her own part as queen.”
20. ^ After Essex’s downfall, James VI of Scotland referred
to Robert Cecil as “king there in effect”.
21. ^ Cecil wrote to James, “The subject itself is so perilous to touch amongst us as it setteth a mark upon his head forever that hatcheth such a bird”.
22. ^ James VI of Scotland was a great-great-grandson
of Henry VII of England, and thus Elizabeth’s first cousin twice removed, since Henry VII was Elizabeth’s paternal grandfather.
23. ^ The age of Elizabeth was redrawn as one of chivalry, epitomised by courtly encounters between the queen and sea-dog
“heroes” such as Drake and Raleigh. Some Victorian narratives, such as Raleigh laying his cloak before the queen or presenting her with a potato, remain part of the myth.
24. ^ In his preface to the 1952 reprint of Queen Elizabeth I, J. E.
Neale observed: “The book was written before such words as “ideological”, “fifth column”, and “cold war” became current; and it is perhaps as well that they are not there. But the ideas are present, as is the idea of romantic leadership of a nation
in peril, because they were present in Elizabethan times”.
25. ^ The new state religion was condemned at the time in such terms as “a cloaked papistry, or mingle mangle”.
26. ^ As Elizabeth’s Lord Keeper, Sir Nicholas Bacon, put it on her
behalf to parliament in 1559, the queen “is not, nor ever meaneth to be, so wedded to her own will and fantasy that for the satisfaction thereof she will do anything … to bring any bondage or servitude to her people, or give any just occasion to
them of any inward grudge whereby any tumults or stirs might arise as hath done of late days”.
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218. ^ Jump up to:a b Loades, 92.
219. ^ “The Tudors had bad teeth? What rot!”, The Daily Telegraph, 18 January 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
220. ^ De Maisse: a journal of all that was accomplished
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221. ^ Haigh, 171.
222. ^ Haigh, 179.
223. ^ Loades, 93.
224. ^ Loades, 97.
225. ^ Black, 410.
227. ^ Jump up to:a b Willson, 154.
228. ^ Willson, 155.
229. ^ Neale, 385.
230. ^ Black, 411.
231. ^ Black, 410–411.
232. ^ Lee, Christopher (2004). 1603: The Death of Queen Elizabeth, the Return of the Black Plague, the Rise
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233. ^ Weir (1999), p. 486.
234. ^ Stanley, Arthur Penrhyn (1868). “The royal tombs”. Historical memorials of Westminster
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235. ^ Strong, 163–164.
236. ^ Jump up to:a b Loades, 100–101.
237. ^ Jump up to:a b Somerset, 726.
238. ^ Strong, 164.
239. ^ Haigh, 170.
240. ^ Weir (1999), p. 488.
241. ^ Dobson and
242. ^ Haigh, 175, 182.
243. ^ Jump up to:a b Dobson and Watson, 258.
244. ^ Haigh, 175.
245. ^ Haigh, 182.
246. ^ Kenyon, 207
247. ^ Black, 408–409.
248. ^ Haigh, 142–147, 174–177.
249. ^ Loades, 46–50.
250. ^ Weir
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251. ^ Hogge, 9–10.
252. ^ Somerset, 102.
253. ^ Haigh, 45–46, 177.
254. ^ Black, 14–15.
255. ^ Williams Elizabeth, 50.
256. ^ Haigh, 42.
257. ^ Jump up to:a b c Somerset, 727.
258. ^ Hogge, 9n.
259. ^ Loades, 1.
Starkey Elizabeth: Woman, 7.
261. ^ Somerset, 75–76.
262. ^ Edwards, 205.
263. ^ Starkey Elizabeth: Woman, 6–7.
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Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cuyahogajco/6250692311/’]