Elizabeth, the first queen of England from 1533 to 1603, was born in Greenwich on September 7, 1533. She was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth’s mother will be executed for adultery when Elizabeth was only 2 years old.
Henry’s last wife Catherine Parr made sure Elizabeth was highly educated and could speak several languages fluently when Henry died in 1547 Elizabeth’s half-brother Edward became King while she would live with Catherine Parr.
Edward died in 1553 which meant that Lisbeth’s old half-sister Mary became queen, Mary was determined to return England to Catholicism and because Elizabeth was Protestant she imprisoned her in the Tower of London.
Mary died from illness in 1558 making Elizabeth her successor to the throne; she became Queen of England at age 25 Elizabeth returned England to Protestantism developing the Church of England while maintaining some Catholic elements such as the crucifix, therefore, appeasing both sides.
The Privy Council was reduced and its Catholic influence diminished by removing relevant members. Elizabeth assembled experienced and trusted advisors, including William Cecil, Lord Burleigh, who was her secretary of state, Sir Francis Walsingham, who was in charge of gathering intelligence, Nicholas Bacon, keeper of the Great Seal, and Nicholas Throckmorton, ambassador to France.
One adviser called Robert Dudley Earl of Leicester was very close to the Queen and may have been a romantic interest despite numerous courtships and expectations to continue the Tudor dynasty with an heir Elizabeth declined marriage stating the welfare of her country was her priority to an insistent Parliament’s.
During Elizabeth’s reign England saw a golden age of progress trade expanded rapidly bringing in wealth and exploration brought prestige to the country in 1580 Francis Drake became the first Englishman to successfully circumnavigates the earth and five years later Sir Walter Raleigh formed a colony on the east coast of North America named Virginia the arts also flourished in theatre poetry and music with such playwrights as William Shakespeare a big challenge would face Elizabeth in 1588 in 1587 Elizabeth had her cousin Mary Queen of Scots her nearest heir executed.
Mary was a Catholic and had been imprisoned by Elizabeth as a threat to the throne especially as there was no marriage or Protestant heir produced by Elizabeth and uncovering of a conspiracy to overthrow the Queen ended in Mary being tried for treason after years of surveillance after Mary’s execution catholic king Philip II of Spain launched an invasion of England to get rid of Elizabeth and restore Catholicism.
As he launched the Spanish Armada Elizabeth made a speech to the English soldiers at Tilbury I know I have the body of a weak feeble woman but I have the heart and stomach of a king and a king of England to the English Navy aided by bad weather would severely defeat the invading Armada.
On the 24th of March 1603, Elizabeth died at Richmond Palace as there was no Tudor heir the dynasty would come to an end and she would be succeeded by the Protestant James the sixth of Scotland the son of her cousin Mary Queen of Scots.