Elizabeth I


Portrait of Elizabeth at the age of 13 years

Elizabeth I was born in 1533. Her mother was Anne Boleyn, Henry’s second wife who was beheaded when Elizabeth was only 3 years old.

Elizabeth became Queen in 1558 when she was 25 years of age. She was thought to be an intelligent, charming and popular Queen. Elizabeth was also said to have a great love of clothes and jewels.

Queen Elizabeth I at her Coronation in 1558

When Elizabeth became Queen the monarchy was poor. She tried to save money by staying out of costly wars, keeping fewer servants and by selling royal lands.

Elizabeth was committed to keeping the peace in England. She was said to love all her subjects (the people of England). Many men wanted to marry Elizabeth, because they wanted to rule England. She refused to marry, saying she was already married to England.

Elizabeth who was Protestant, tried to settle the unrest over religion. To please the Catholics, she declared herself to be the Supreme Governor of the Church, rather than Supreme Head of the Church. To please the Protestants, she made all the churches use the English Prayer Book.

Elizabeth ruled England wisely and firmly for 45 years, until she died in 1603. She was the last of the Tudor Monarchs because she did not get married and have any children of her own.

Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I in 1589, after the defeat of the Spanish Armarda