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Elizabeth I
Queen of England

1533 - 1603

Be ye ensured that I will be as good unto you
as ever a Queen was unto her people.

                                                         —Elizabeth I

Elizabeth I was born on September 7, 1533 at Greenwich Palace, London, England, an estate of her Father, King Henry VIII. Elizabeth's mother was Henry's second wife, Anne Boleyn. Elizabeth became Queen of England in 1558 and reigned until her death in 1603. Her reign is often called the Golden Age of England because it was a time of great achievement and prosperity.

Elizabeth never married. She entertained both Protestant and Catholic suitors while committing to no one. She used her single status as a policy tool. By entertaining Catholic suitors she kept hostile Catholic monarchs at bay, and English Catholics loyal to her government. At one point it appeared she was interested in one of her subjects, Sir Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. She avoided entering a marriage with Sir Robert because the match lacked any political benefits.

Elizabeth succeeded in furthering England's interests in the face of foreign threats and religious unrest at home. Highlights of her reign include making the Church of England (a Protestant denomination) the state religion, while avoiding war with the powerful Roman Catholic nations of Europe; the English navy defeated of the Spanish Armada; English merchant ships challenged Spanish preeminence on the high seas; the first settlers were sent to America to open the way for a great colonial empire, and England's economy flourished. The English court became a center for writers, musicians, and scholars. English literature thrived during this period, with Francis Bacon composing his Essays, and William Shakespeare writing his great works of drama and poetry.

Problems at home marked the end of Elizabeth's reign. The Irish rebelled and Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex led a rebellion against the government.

On March 23, 1603, Elizabeth died. When she came to power England was an insignificant country. When she died it was a major European power. Elizabeth was the last legitimate decendant of Henry VIII. She was succeeded by James I, son of Mary Queen of Scots and her second husband, Elizabeth's cousin Lord Darnley.

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•  Other Monarchs in the Lucidcafé Library
•  Elizabeth I Images
•  Books By/About Elizabeth I
•  DVDs About Elizabeth I
•  Related Websites


  Other Monarchs in the Lucidcafé Library

  Books By/About Elizabeth I

  DVDs About Elizabeth I

  • Elizabeth I - The Virgin Queen (2005) - Producer: Masterpiece Theatre/WGBH Boston

    Starring Anne-Marie Duff as the shrewd and captivating queen who defended her throne amidst an atmosphere of plotting and intrigue, torture and murder, The Virgin Queen is a riveting drama that explores the fascinating 44-year reign of Elizabeth I.

    CLICK HERE to purchase this DVD edition of "Elizabeth I - The Virgin Queen"

  • Elizabeth (1998) - Director: Shekhar Kapur

    Cate Blanchett's striking performance as the naive princess who becomes the knowing queen. Lavish production design shows the golden age of England's monarchy emerging from the Middle Ages. Blanchett received an Oscar nomination for her performance. Also stars Richard Attenborough, Joseph Fiennes and Geoffrey Rush.

    CLICK HERE to purchase this DVD edition of "Elizabeth"

  • Elizabeth R (1972) - Producer: BBC

    Glenda Jackson stars in this BBC miniseries. Covers the entire reign of Elizabeth I from just before being crowned as queen to her death in 1603. Jackson skillfully captures the capricious moods and incredible intellect of the queen who defied the pope and the conventions of the time. ("R" is for "Regina")

    CLICK HERE to purchase this DVD edition of "Elizabeth R"

  Related Websites

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Copyright © 1995-2016 Robin Chew
Article written by Robin Chew - September 1995