World-changing Women: Queen Elizabeth I
“Though the sex to which I belong is considered weak you will nevertheless find me a rock that bends to no wind.” Queen Elizabeth I
Elizabeth Tudor, later known as Queen Elizabeth I, was born on September 7, 1533, in Greenwich England. She was the daughter of Henry VIII and his second wife Anne Boleyn. Her mother Anne was beheaded for adultery when Elizabeth was only two years old.
Due to the accusations against her mother, Elizabeth was said to be an illegitimate daughter, and was raised away from the royal family in a separate house. Such events as a young child resulted in Elizabeth being extremely mature for her age.
Elizabeth spent most of her time with her half brother Edward and her father’s sixth (and final) wife Cathrine Parr, who she developed a close relationship with. She was also extremely intelligent and recieved an education that would normally be given to only male heirs.
Coming to Power
King Herny VIII had many children but only three were considered legitimate. Those three were Mary, Elizabeth, and Edward. Mary was Elizabeth’s older half sister and the daughter of Henry’s first wife, Cathrine of Aragon. Edward was Elizabeth’s younger half brother. His mother was Henry’s VIII third wife Jane Seymour.
The line of succession started with Edward, as he was Henry VIII’s only legitimate male heir. It then went to Mary who was the oldest legitimate heir, but because Edward was a male he came first. Elizabeth was last in line for the throne which left her little to no chance of ever becoming queen.
After Edward’s death at the age of 15, Mary took over as England’s first female monarch. She reverted England back to Roman Catholosism and later died at the age of 42 during an influenza epidemic. Elizabeth succeeded her sister at the age of 25.
What Made her Rule so Special?
After claiming her throne she became England’s second ever female ruler and she carefully but efficiently restored Protestantism to England.
Many believed that women were unfit to be rulers, or to have such power because they did not posses the correct temperament, intellect, or morals needed to be an effective ruler.
Not only was was she England’s second female ruler but she refused to get married and have a king by her side. In order to not compromise her own power and to insure the security of her nation she wouldn’t marry someone from another country.
She ruled for 44 years, had many trusted advisors that she would listen to and gain their input, but she never relinquished any of her power, and would always make the final decision on all crucial affairs.
Haddrick, Milly. “Famous Women in History: 12 Famous Females.” Marie Claire, 15 May 2019, www.marieclaire.com.au/famous-women-in-history.
McIlvenna, Una. “What Inspired Queen ‘Bloody’ Mary’s Gruesome Nickname?” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 25 Oct. 2018, www.history.com/news/queen-mary-i-bloody-mary-reformation#:~:text=Mary%20died%20at%20age%2042,monarch%20and%20England%20remained%20Protestant.
Morrill, John S. and Greenblatt, Stephen J.. “Elizabeth I”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 28 Jan. 2021, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Elizabeth-I. Accessed 15 February 2021.