Elizabeth I, born on September 7, 1533, was Queen of England and Ireland from November 17, 1558, until she died in 1603. Elizabeth was the last of the five monarchs of the House of Tudor and was known as the Virgin Queen. She ruled during the Elizabethan Age, a period in which England asserted itself as a significant European force in politics, trade, and the arts. She certainly deserves our attention here on her special day.
Elizabeth I was born on September 7, 1533, in Greenwich, England. She was the daughter of King Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn. At the age of two, her mother was beheaded on her father’s orders, based on dubious charges of adultery and conspiracy. Elizabeth was brought up in the same way that any other royal child would be. She was tutored and was excellent in languages and music. Elizabeth spent some time in the care of her stepmother, Catherine Parr, after her father died in 1547.
Elizabeth I inherited a lot of issues that her half-sister Mary had sparked during her reign. The country was at war with France, which drained the royal coffers tremendously. After Mary worked to restore England to Roman Catholicism by any means necessary, there was also a lot of animosity between different religious factions. To solve these two serious challenges, Elizabeth moved quickly. She advocated for the passage of the Act of Supremacy, which re-established the Church of England, and the Act of Uniformity, which established a single prayer book, during her first session of Parliament in 1559. The closing years of Elizabeth’s reign were turbulent. Failed crops, food shortages, unemployment, inflation, and Irish rebellions plagued the country. She also faced numerous challenges to her authority, including one from Robert Devereaux, Earl of Essex, one of her favorite noblemen. She had sent him to Ireland to put down a rebellion led by Gaelic lord Hugh O’Neill, known as ‘The Nine Years War.’ Essex, on the other hand, returned to England and attempted to start his rebellion. In 1601, he was hanged for treason. Despite her declining power, Elizabeth remained loyal to her people. In the same year, she delivered one of her most renowned remarks to Parliament. Elizabeth enjoyed recreational activities in addition to her hard job on the court. She was a music lover who could also play the lute. Elizabeth also enjoyed watching plays and dancing. In many ways, Elizabeth was an early fashionista; she adored jewels and gorgeous attire, and her outfits were frequently composed of gold and silver. She achieved a strikingly pale appearance with the help of makeup.
Elizabeth never married or had children, and she didn’t seem to want to share authority with anybody, earning her the moniker ‘Virgin Queen.’ She dealt with a lot of suitors and potential royal matches during her reign. Philip II of Spain, Archduke Charles of Austria, and the then-future King Henry III of France were among the suitors who begged for Elizabeth’s hand. She looked to be interested in Robert Dudley, a member of her court and a childhood friend. Their relationship became the focus of rumors and inquiry, and Dudley was suspected of his wife’s death with the intention of marrying the queen. On March 24, 1603, Elizabeth died at Richmond Palace in Surrey.
Elizabeth I is crowned queen of England and Ireland at Westminster Abbey in London at the age of 25.
She advocates for the passage of the Act of Supremacy to re-establish the Church of England and the Act of Uniformity to establish a single prayer book during her first session of Parliament.
Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, entertains Elizabeth I at his home, hoping to marry her — he creates a garden in Kenilworth to gain her favor
During the English Reformation, the 'Safety of the Queen, etc. Act 1584' requires a tribunal of at least 24 lords and privy councilors to investigate "any open invasion or rebellion" in England, as well as any attempt to harm Queen Elizabeth I or any contender to the throne.
Queen Elizabeth I delivers the Golden Speech in the Palace Council Chamber, addressing price concerns in light of the country’s economic challenges.
Why We Love Elizabeth I of England
Her intelligence underpinned her reign
Elizabeth is largely known as a monarch who stood by her subjects. Her long reign on the throne offered security and constancy. Her political savvy, razor-sharp wit, and astute intelligence guided the country through several religious, social, and governmental issues.
She knew how to use stereotypes
Elizabeth repeatedly referred to herself in masculine terms as a strategy to win over her sexist new subjects. She was a 'prince' who wielded the same power over her people as her powerful father, Henry VIII. She also knew when and how to show off her femininity. She established a court built on chivalric love principles, with herself at its center, delighting, vexing, and enslaving the male courtiers who gathered to pay her homage.
She stood out as a queen
William Camden, Elizabeth's first biographer, reported that instead of triumphing despite her gender, she triumphed as a result of it. Her feminine characteristics had allowed her to stand out in a world dominated by men — and, in turn, to rule them.
5 Surprising Facts
She’s the only unmarried English Queen
Despite having a slew of pedigree suitors, Elizabeth had resolved not to marry, earning her the nickname ‘Virgin Queen.’
She was a polyglot
In addition to English, Elizabeth was fluent in French, Latin, Italian, Spanish, Irish, Welsh, Flemish, Greek, and the now-almost-defunct Cornish.
Her dressing ritual was long
The procedure of dressing Elizabeth became lengthier as she got older, taking the serving women four hours to dress and undress her.
Her makeup contributed to her death
She used lead-based makeup that caused more harm to her skin, and it was known that lead was classified as a poisonous substance years after Elizabeth’s death.
She had a notorious temper
Despite her generally pleasant personality, Elizabeth was known for her royal rage, which she was supposed to have inherited from her father, Henry VIII.
Elizabeth I of England FAQs
Why is Elizabeth I a hero?
She never gave up, she didn’t let others influence her, and she lived to help her citizens, not herself.
Who was Elizabeth 1 successor?
James VI of Scotland, who became James I of England, was the successor of Elizabeth I.
Why did Elizabeth wear white makeup?
She contracted smallpox in 1562, which left her face scarred, and she took to wearing white lead makeup to cover the scars.
Elizabeth I of England’s birthday dates