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"Elizabeth I", "Elizabeth of England", and "Elizabeth Tudor" redirect here. For other uses, see Elizabeth I (disambiguation), Elizabeth of England (disambiguation), andElizabeth Tudor (disambiguation).
The "Darnley Portrait" of Elizabeth I (c. 1575)
Queen of England and Ireland (more...)
17 November 1558 –
24 March 1603
15 January 1559
Mary I and Philip
House of Tudor
7 September 1533
Palace of Placentia,Greenwich, England
24 March 1603 (aged 69)
Richmond Palace, Surrey, England
28 April 1603
Elizabeth I (7 September 1533 – 24 March 1603) was Queen of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana or Good Queen Bess, the childless Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of theTudor dynasty.
Elizabeth was the daughter of Henry VIII by second wife, Anne Boleyn, who was executed two and a half years after Elizabeth's birth. Anne's marriage to Henry VIII was annulled, and Elizabeth was declared illegitimate. Her half-brother, Edward VI, ruled until his death in 1553, bequeathing the crown to Lady Jane Grey and ignoring the claims of his two half-sisters, Elizabeth and the Roman Catholic Mary, in spite of statute law to the contrary. Edward's will was set aside and Mary became queen, deposing Lady Jane Grey. During Mary's reign, Elizabeth was imprisoned for nearly a year on suspicion of supporting Protestant rebels.
In 1558, Elizabeth succeeded her half-sister to the throne and set out to rule by good counsel. She depended heavily on a group of trusted advisers, led by William Cecil, Baron Burghley. One of her first actions as queen was the establishment of an English Protestant church, of which she became the Supreme Governor. This Elizabethan Religious Settlement was to evolve into theChurch of England. It was expected that Elizabeth would marry and produce an heir to continue the Tudor line. She never did, despite numerous courtships. As she grew older, Elizabeth became famous for her virginity. A cult grew around her which was celebrated in the portraits, pageants, and literature of the day.
In government, Elizabeth was more moderate than her father and half-siblings had been. One of her mottoes was "video et taceo" ("I see, and say nothing"). In religion she was relatively tolerant and avoided systematic persecution. After 1570, when the popedeclared her illegitimate and released her subjects from obedience to her, several conspiracies threatened her life, all of which were defeated with the…