A Virtuous Sovereign

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It is popular belief that the life of a Princess is magical, filled with “Happily Ever After”, however the life of Queen Elizabeth I was anything but magical. The story of The Virgin Queen is captivating, from scandal surrounding her birth to her reluctance to name a successor before her death. Elizabeth’s entire life was full of turmoil, conspiracy and sadness. Jane Resh Thomas described this misconception most accurately on page two of Behind the Mask: The Life of Queen Elizabeth I by stating, “If she was charmed, then her enchanter must have been an evil fairy whose charm was at least in part a curse. For many of Elizabeth’s subjects despised her from her infancy. Her father put her mother to death and neglected Elizabeth for much of her childhood.” Elizabeth Tudor was born September 7, 1533 to King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. In a desperate effort to father a son King Henry went against the advice of his council and the Roman Catholic Church by divorcing his first wife and marrying Anne Boleyn. The divorce outraged nearly all of England and feeling pressure from the Church and the English people, Parliament deemed the child illegitimate and ordered that she would not be in line to inherit the throne. Elizabeth spent her younger years living with staff in her own private residences. “Elizabeth and her household resided at Hatfield and Ashbridge, both in Hertfordshire, the latter being the house mostly associated with the royal children’s nursery” (Watkins, 14). Although Elizabeth seemed to be alienated from her family, she cared deeply for her father, older half-sister Mary and younger half-brother Edward and in 1544 Henry echoed his affections by acknowledging Elizabeth, Mary and Edward to Parliament, setting forth ... ... middle of paper ... ... Queen were more filled with turmoil than magic, Elizabeth Tudor used her unbridled independence to overcome obstacles and in the end, England and Elizabeth both prevailed. Works Cited Watkins, Susan. The Public and Private Worlds of Elizabeth I. New York: Thames & Hudson, Inc., 1998. Encyclopedia of World Biograpghy. Queen of England Elizabeth I. Detroit: The Gale Group Inc., 2004. Encyclopedia of World Biography. Elizabeth I. Detroit: Gale Biography in Context, 1998. Foster, R.E. "Conflicts and Loyalties: the Parliaments of Elizabeth I." History Review November 2006: 34-39. Lewis, Brenda Ralph. "ELIZABETH I: the reality behind the mask." British Heritage 12 June 2006. McLean, Alison. "THIS MONTH IN HISTORY." Smithsonian January 2009. Thomas, Jane Resh. Behind the mask: the life of Queen Elizabeth I. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998.
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