Elizabeth I Facts

Here is some interesting Elizabeth I trivia!

  • Elizabeth I was the daughter of Henry VIII and his second wife Anne Boleyn.
  • Elizabeth was named after both her grandmothers, Elizabeth Howard and Elizabeth of York.
  • Elizabeth’s mother Anne Boleyn was executed when Elizabeth was just two years old.
  • The majority of historians believe that Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth’s mother, was innocent of all charges and that her execution was down to a conspiracy planned by Thomas Cromwell.
  • Although Elizabeth I only mentioned her mother a couple of times during her lifetime, she wore a locket ring which contained a miniature of herself along with a miniature of her mother.
  • After her step mother Catherine Howard’s execution, Elizabeth reputedly told her friend (and later favourite), Robert Dudley, “I will never marry”.
  • Although her father had her mother executed, Elizabeth was fond of him and revered his memory.
  • Elizabeth was born on the 7th September 1533 at Greenwich Palace.
  • Elizabeth I died on 24th March 1603 at Richmond Palace. It is thought that she died of blood poisoning.
  • “Nicknames” for Elizabeth I include “The Virgin Queen”, “Good Queen Bess” and “Gloriana”.
  • Elizabeth herself gave nicknames to people she loved and trusted – She called William Cecil her “Spirit” and Robert Dudley her “eyes”.
  • Elizabeth I reigned between 1558 and 1603.
  • Elizabeth I never married, although she had a number of suitors, and thought of herself as married to her country and the mother of her subjects.
  • Although Elizabeth was known as “The Virgin Queen”, scandal surrounded her – There were rumours over her close relationships with Robert Dudley (the Earl of Leicester), Robert Devereux (the Earl of Essex), Sir Walter Raleigh and Christopher Hatton.
  • There was scandal in her youth when her governess Kat Ashley found that Catherine Parr’s husband, Thomas Seymour, was tickling and slapping Elizabeth in bed and coming into her room in his nightclothes. Although at first Catherine Parr thought of this as innocent fun, she later sent Elizabeth away and there were even rumours that Elizabeth had a child by Seymour. It is not known how Elizabeth felt about Seymour, but on hearing of his execution she said: “This day died a man of much wit, but very little judgement”.
  • It has been rumoured that Elizabeth I wrote some of William Shakespeare’s plays! There is, in fact, no evidence of this.
  • Elizabeth I’s funeral took place on 28th April 1603 and she was buried at Westminster Abbey.
  • Elizabeth I’s motto was “Semper Eadem”, meaning “Always the Same”.
  • Elizabeth’s main rival was her cousin Mary Queen of Scots, who had plotted against her life – Elizabeth had her executed in 1587 after keeping her prisoner for many years. It was a difficult decision for Elizabeth because she believed that anointed sovereigns, such as Mary, were answerable only to God.
  • Elizabeth was imprisoned in the Tower of London for a time in Mary I’s reign for suspected involvement in Wyatt’s rebellion. She thought she would be executed.
  • Elizabeth I became queen at the age of 25 and was crowned at Westminster Abbey on 15th January 1559.
  • Although Elizabeth founded the Church of England and was thought to be a protestant, she was tolerant of both Catholic and Protestant viewpoints and famously said: “There is only one Christ, Jesus, one faith, all else is trifles” and that she had “no desire to make windows into men’s souls”.
  • Elizabeth I’s skin became badly scarred by smallpox after she suffered from the disease in 1562. She covered these scars with a face paint of white lead and vinegar.
  • Her favourite dress colours were white and black which symbolised purity.
  • Wigs were in fashion and Elizabeth made good use of them.
  • Elizabeth I, like most people of her time, was very superstitious and consulted astronomer and astrologer, John Dee, and it was even said that she asked him to undo a death curse that she thought had been put on her.
  • Although there were rumours that Elizabeth I was bald, there does not seem to be any truth to them and there are records of people having seen her hair.
  • Elizabeth I frequently swore – When angry, she would curse and swear.
  • Elizabeth’s reign is known as “The Golden Age” because she made England strong and prosperous.

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