Who was Queen Elizabeth I, the predecessor of Queen Elizabeth II of England who died on September 8, 2022?
Here’s what you need to know:
Elizabeth I was the only surviving child of King Henry VIII and his second wife Anne Boleyn. She was the last of five monarchs of the Tudor dynasty, after her half-brother and half-sister.
When King Henry VIII died in 1547, his son Edward VI. king, but due to his young age and failing health he was never really at the head of the kingdom and he died six years after ascending the throne. After his death, Elizabeth’s older sister, Mary Tudor, ascended the throne. She died without heirs and Elizabeth I ascended the throne on November 17, 1558.
“If anyone,” someone wrote at the time, according to Britannica. “Had either the gift or the style to win the hearts of men, it was that Queen, and if she ever expressed the same thing it was at this time, combining gentleness with majesty as she did, and gracefully adhering to the Lowest inclined sort.”
Throughout her life, Elizabeth I was used as a pawn by the men in her life and therefore chose never to marry. This is how her most famous nickname “The Virgin Queen” came about.
But many historians and the general public have wondered if she and longtime friend and adviser Robert Dudley were ever a couple.
According to English Heritage, Dudley was “the most unpopular man in England” and accused of being a “serial killer, extortionist and criminal”, and historians have accepted these claims as truth.
The outlet reported that Elizabeth I “was violently attracted to him and he to her. Day after day they rode and danced together or whispered in booths. Rumors about lovers made the rounds, and not just at court.”
But Dudley was already married. His wife, Amy Robsart, lived outside the court and was “found dead with a broken neck” in 1560.
But there was never any proof that anything really happened between the two. In fact, the outlet reported that Elizabeth I denied this on her deathbed, saying, “Though she loved him dearly… nothing unseemly had ever happened between them.”
Elizabeth I is considered one of the most important monarchs in the history of England. According to Royal.uk, “Her 45-year reign is widely regarded as one of the most glorious in English history. During this time a secure Church of England was established. His teachings were set forth in the 39 Articles of 1563, a compromise between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism.”
Because of her sometimes flimsy claim to the throne (she was considered a bastard by her own father), her reign was often fraught with plots against her life, including her most famous enemy, Mary, Queen of Scots.
“As the likely successor to Elizabeth, Mary spent 19 years as Elizabeth’s prisoner because Mary was at the center of rebellion and possible assassination plots, such as the Babington Plot of 1586,” the outlet reported.
Eventually Mary was tried, found guilty, and beheaded in 1587.
Many people think of Queen Elizabeth’s red hair and pale white face when conjuring up an image of the late Queen. But that iconic look may have played a role in her death, according to the Royal Museum in Greenwich.
Elizabeth I died in March 1603 at the age of 69 from what is now considered blood poisoning, but we will never know for sure.
According to the museum, Elizabeth “denied permission to have a post-mortem performed” prior to her death, leaving her cause of death a mystery.
The website listed three much-discussed causes of death for the queen, one of which was “blood poisoning caused by her use of a lead-based makeup known as Venetian ceruse (or the spirits of Saturn). This substance was classified as a poison 31 years after Elizabeth’s death.”
The other two are things like cancer or pneumonia, and one reason is that she died because “Elizabeth’s coronation ring had grown into her flesh. This was because she had never removed it in the 45 years of her reign,” the museum said.
We already know that Elizabeth I died unmarried and without children. So many people have wondered how she and Elizabeth II are related.
According to the Express, Elizabeth I is “distantly related to the current monarch, although the two queens are both from separate royal families.”
The outlet reported that “according to historian Robert Stedall, the Queen is related to Elizabeth I through Henry VII’s sister, Queen Margaret of Scotland.”