Elizabeth I’s Coronation Chart

Posted By claire on January 15, 2010

Elizabeth I Coronation Portrait451 years ago today, at 12pm on January 15th 1559*, Elizabeth I was crowned Queen of England, a huge achievement for the second daughter of Henry VIII and the daughter of a woman executed as a traitor and adulteress.

As someone who is fascinated by Elizabeth’s mother, Anne Boleyn, I find it ironic and also wonderful that it is Anne’s daughter, not the son Henry VIII so longed for, who made such an impact on the country and is known as one of England’s greatest monarchs. I know the scene in “Anne of the Thousand Days”, where Anne Boleyn yells at Henry VIII when he visits her in the Tower, is completely fictitious, but I love Anne’s speech:-

“But Elizabeth is yours. Watch her as she grows; she’s yours. She’s a Tudor! Get yourself a son off of that sweet, pale girl if you can – and hope that he will live! But Elizabeth shall reign after you! Yes, Elizabeth – child of Anne the Whore and Henry the Blood-Stained Lecher – shall be Queen! And remember this: Elizabeth shall be a greater queen than any king of yours! She shall rule a greater England than you could ever have built! Yes – MY Elizabeth SHALL BE QUEEN! And my blood will have been well spent!”

It always sends shivers down my spine and always makes me wonder if the real Anne had any inkling of what her daughter could become. I so wish Anne could have said that in real life!

Why the 15th January?

John Dee

John Dee

The 15th January 1559 was not chosen for convenience or because it suited everyone’s diaries, but, instead, it was chosen because it was an auspicious date for Elizabeth’s coronation.

In those days, astrological charts would be consulted to see what date would be best for such an important occasion and to get Elizabeth’s reign off to the best start possible. Sarah Rochel explains the importance of using astrology charts for important events, on her website “The Queen’s Astrologer”, far better than I ever could:-

“One of the working principles of astrology is that the beginnings of life – the birth of something or the seed of something – is of paramount importance. It signals the way things will develop and unfold in time. An astrological birth chart, therefore, can not only be used to examine the start of a person’s life (the birth chart or nativity) but can also be applied to, say, the start of a journey; the laying of a foundation stone; the signing of a contract. Anything.”

Those people who wanted Elizabeth’s reign to be a success realised that they needed the help of John Dee, the famous Elizabethan scholar, astrologer, astronomer and mathematician, a man who had tutored Edward VI and Elizabeth’s childhood friend Robert Dudley. It was Robert Dudley’s idea to call on John Dee to draw up a special astrological chart known as an “electional chart” to find the best time and date for the beginning of the new queen’s reign, for the birth of the Elizabethan age, for Elizabeth I’s coronation.

Mary I died on the 17th November making Elizabeth the new queen, so John Dee did not have a whole year to choose from, the coronation could not be delayed for months on end, nor could it happen within just a few days as preparations would have to be made and people informed. Dee, therefore, did the best he could, he picked the most auspicious time and date of the few months that he had to play with. The chart, therefore is not ideal or perfect, but I think that Elizabeth’s long and successful reign shows that Dee did a great job!

The Coronation Chart

I am completely clueless when it comes to astrology and reading charts so thanks go again to Sarah Rochel, who I think might need to give me a crash course! The chart is hers and so is the reading of it, although I have attempted to explain it.

Coronation Chart of Elizabeth I

Coronation Chart of Elizabeth I

In the chart, an astrologer would see that the great “malefic” planets of Mars and Saturn are in an opposing aspect, which usually would be of concern, but this negative is made up for by the positives in the chart. Mars is located in its own sign of Scorpio which gives the planet strength and dignity meaning that it would be able to overcome the planet Saturn which, according to Sarah, is in the “hidden 12th house of secret enemies”. Also Mars is located in “the 6th House of service and servants”, signifying that Elizabeth would not be on her own in struggling against these secret enemies but that other would come to Elizabeth and England’s aid.

In this chart, the Luminaries (the Sun and the Moon) are both in favourable aspects to the bodies in Elizabeth’s natal chart (her birth chart), such as Venus and Jupiter, the planets known as “the fortunes”. An astrologer would see that the Sun makes a trine (12o degree separation) aspect to the Venus of Elizabeth’s natal chart and that the Moon makes the same trine aspect to Jupiter. The fact that John Dee chose a date with these aspects shows that he was interested in Elizabeth’s personal welfare, not just the success of the reign for her country.

In the coronation chart, John Dee also made use of the fixed stars such as Regulus and Fortuna, a star associated with fame, glory and honour when seen on charts like this. The Moon on this chart is in a favourable aspect to both these stars. A set time of noon for the coronation is favourable for royalty because the Sun is on the mid heaven of the chart, although this timing also puts both Mars and Saturn in the 12th and 6th Houses which are associated with weakness. However, any negatives associated with this, like enemies, are cancelled out by 90 degree aspect from Jupiter, “the planet of preservation and good joy”, which is prominent, meaning that partners and allies would help fight the enemies signified by Mars and Saturn’s placements.

The star Fortuna is on the cusp of the 4th House which signifies that Elizabeth would have excellent judgement, the country would be a strong power base, she would have the support of her people and be a popular monarch, and England would be fortunate in both its resources and its people. The planet Mercury, the ruling planet of Virgo the Virgin and Elizabeth’s own ruling planet, is in a strong position on the coronation chart as it is in a trine aspect to Gemini from the 10th House, a place of power, and is also ruler of the ascending degree in Gemini

In an article entitled “Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen”, Sue Toohey writes of Elizabeth’s coronation chart:-

“Elizabeth’s transits to her natal chart at the time of the coronation included Jupiter sextile Jupiter, which became exact on the day of her coronation along with Venus trine her Sun, making it a very pleasant occasion. Venus opposed Saturn and, Mars was conjunct her Mars ruled Mc [Medium Coeli or Midheaven] showing that she would not be a weak and feeble monarch but one who would rule with great fortitude. What Dee would not have known is that Uranus was on her Mc and Mars was trine Uranus. This would bring dynamic leadership and great self-determination to her rule. She would not be constrained by what others had done before her and would create her own style of rule. Pluto was sextile both her ascendant and Moon bringing with it great responsibility of authority over the people she was to rule. An eclipse of the Sun had made a very close conjunction to her natal Moon a few months previously. Elizabeth took her responsibilities very seriously and saw that the first of those was always to the people she ruled. She promised that she would always put them first and it was often cited as one of the reasons for choosing never to marry.”

Conclusion

I’d like to conclude with the words of Sarah Rochel who has helped me so much with this site and with trying to get to grips with astrology:

“Dee made the best of an imperfect situation and turned the negative features of the chart to England’s best advantage, while emphasising those other features which were naturally favourable on the day. A fair beginning for Albion’s ‘Golden Age.’ and a a masterful piece of astrology, as history has testified.”

How true! Whatever we believe today, and our own personal opinions of astrology, Elizabeth and her friends and advisers must have been 100% satisfied with this coronation chart. It heralded in a Golden Age, a far more successful reign than Elizabeth’s recent predecessors and a country that was strong and prosperous.

A Tale of Two Coronations

Elizabeth used the lavish coronation of her mother Anne Boleyn as the inspiration for her own coronation – click here to read my article on this over at The Anne Boleyn Files, but here are a few of the similarities:-

  • Symbolism and imagery – Elizabeth lined the streets of her processional route with beautiful scenery, including a vignette of Anne Boleyn as Queen.
  • The Virgin Mary – Anne had used representations of the Virgin Mary at her coronation but her daughter took this one step further by becoming the Virgin Mary. Elizabeth cultivated the image of she, herself, being the Virgin Mary on Earth, the Virgin Queen and Gloriana – a divine presence on Earth. Tracy Borman, in her book “Elizabeth’s Women”, writes of how this imagery secured the love of her subjects and is the image that Elizabeth is still famous for cultivating.
  • Elizabeth’s outfit – Elizabeth modelled her coronation outfit on her mother’s, appearing in a beautifully brocaded silk surcoat and an ermine trimmed mantle.

Sources

*Sarah points out that this was the date in the old style dating system and that if we transfer this date to the Gregorian Calendar then it would be more like the 25th January, so we can celebrate it twice – 2 glasses of bubbly instead of one!

Comments

12 Responses to “Elizabeth I’s Coronation Chart”

  1. Jenny says:

    I was quite surprised to see the chart as the house divisions are almost the same as my individual birthchart. But we have to take into consideration thatin those days charts were only constructed for royalty or events pertaining to a nation and not as today (individual astrolofy is a relatively recent phenomena). As I mentioned before I did study astrology a number of years ago and was very much involved in what is known as “Mundane” (i.e. world) astrology before getting onto the individual horoscopes. However, I have forgetten a lot but I think I will print this one out together with E1s birthchart and have a closer look.

    John Dee was a fascinating man in many respects. But remember also Nostradamus was Catherine of Medici’s fabourite astrologer

  2. Jenny says:

    After reading again Claire’s comments “it always sends shivers down my spine and always makes me wonder if the real Anne has any inkling of what her daughter could become” In the late 80s I attending an Astrological conference whose subject was “Relationships” and was held by the late and very great astrologer Howard Sasporta. The mother figure appears very much in my chart although we were completely different in some ways. Howard’s conclusion was that I was living out the life that my mother, in her days, would not have been able to do, even if she didn’t have 10 children – I have none – Strange – Pity we cannot get Anne’s birthday and compare the two.

  3. rochie says:

    Yes, Jenny, I agree, it is the greatest sadness that we will probably never know Anne’s birth data. How intriguing would that be! If only.

    For anyone reading Claire’s wonderful piece today and who is wondering how an astrological chart works, may I recommend this web-page which shows in four easy stages how it is usually put together. Otherwise, I know, it sometimes looks a terrible jumble.

    http://www.astralogos.wanadoo.co.uk/chart.html

    I am going to celebrate this all over again on the 25th, when the Sun returns to the same spot in the the sky (the Solar return).
    There was an eclipse today, also.

  4. Sheena says:

    Absolutely fascinating!

  5. Jenny says:

    Hi Rochie,

    Do we know H8′s birth data — because that might help. We could look at his basic chart, the date of the wedding with AB and perhaps come up with something there. Remember E1 said “Although I have a body of a woman, I have the heart of a king, and a king of England too” – She kept her mother very cloe to her but she also adored (perhaps the power amongst other things) her father. It is worth a try!

  6. Claire says:

    Hi Jenny,
    I just found these charts and information on Henry – http://www.astrologyclub.org/articles/singletons/sun/sun.htm#henryVIII – scroll down on that page and a clearer one at http://www.makara.us/04mdr/01writing/03tg/bios/Henry_VIII.htm.

  7. Ceri C says:

    Did Elizabeth really model her coronation robes on Anne’s? I thought that, ever thrifty and short of money at the beginning of her reign, Elizabeth had her sister Mary’s coronation robes altered for the occasion.

  8. Jenny says:

    Tnaks Claire for the info. on h8′s chart – But it shows how rusty I have become!!!! However, the second version is a modern chart as it shows the placement of the planets such as Uranus, Neptune and Pluto which were not discovered during Tudor times. From what luttle I do remember about birthcharts (and we are talking about E1′s birth chart not her coronationchart), comparing that with her father. His ascendant (i.e. outward personality, physical body andgeneral consititution, early childhood experienes etc.) is in Virgo, the sun saign of his daughter with in Liz 1′s chart, the Virgo sun is in the House of inheritance! His Midheaven (i.e. 10th house) and generally representing the father (although some astrologers say mother su to lack of paternal influence ) is in Gemeini which would give the impression that he did not think things through. However, Liz 1′s is in Scorpio which would mean a very tidy and retentive mind plus keeper of scerets (which is perhaps why she never, o hardly mentioned her mother) Lis’s mother sign is the moon in Taurus, in the chart in the 3rd house but almost on the cusp of the 4th House, traditional house of the mother. As Rochie said (if I remember) Li’s 7th house of partnerships is in Cancer but with Saturn in it which would have meant difficult partnerships in any case. H8′s is in Pisces, the tradionational dreamer trying to find perfection. From what I have seen but haven’t had time to study is that father had a great impact on her life. But over to the expert – Rochie!!!

  9. rochie says:

    Good to see Henry’s chart. Thank you Claire and Jenny!
    The placement of Henry’s natal Moon and Venus (both significators of women and romance, especially in a man’s chart) in the Fire sign of Aries is the most interesting for me, since I always had a sneaky feeling that Anne Boleyn would have been a Leo sun sign (trend-setting, proud, rather self-centred and prone to having favourites about her).
    When comparing two natal charts we often find a connection through signs of the same element in partnerships and friendships. Aries and Leo are both Fire signs. Perhaps Anne’s Sun – if it was in Leo – would even have been in trine aspect (120 degree separation approx) to Henry’s Moon/Venus in Aries. That would make for a very powerful and volatile relationship – fiery, to be sure.

  10. Jenny says:

    Hi Rochie,

    With the moon and venus in Aries, don’t you thinl that H8′s feelings would have been instant but could change as Aries get bored very quickly when there is no challenge and with his 7th houe in Pisces, he could have made his own idolisation of a partnership. Yes, you could be right that Anne was a Leo, OR at least had a lot of Leo in her chart – Leo likes to be no. 1 and everyone has to follow. By netting H8, that might have been a “coup” for her.

  11. Claire says:

    Hi Ceri,
    David Starkey writes of how Elizabeth had at least three sets of clothes for her coronation and that two of them were “hand-me-downs” from Mary which she had altered. The first (from Mary) was the gold and silver coronation mantle and matching dress which she wore for the eve of coronation procession and which she also wore in the coronation portrait. She had a new bodice made for the dress as she was very different in shape to Mary. Elizabeth also “inherited” the crimson velvet parliamentary robes and cap of estate from Mary, which she wore on her journey from Westminster Hall to the Abbey. The purple velvet robes of estate (mourning robes) were especially made for Elizabeth.
    Tracy Borman writes “As a further tribute to her mother, she adopted the same manner of dress, with a heavily brocaded silk surcoat and a mantle of ermine” but it is difficult to say whether this is referring to Elizabeth’s specially made outfit or the adjustments she made to Mary’s clothes. She definitely used Anne’s coronation as a model because she used the same imagery and symbolism, the white falcon crest, the idea of the Queen being the Virgin Mary on Earth and also the idea of wearing a lighter special crown for the procession.

  12. poncianito says:

    Thank you very much for the info, it is very interesting, I like to read all this..:)

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