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Historical Figure
Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth
Biographical Information
Title: Queen of England and Ireland
Reign: 17 November 1558 –

24 March 1603

Coronation: 15 January 1559
Predecessor: Mary I
Successor: James I
Born: 7 September 1533
Died: 24 March 1603
Burial: Westminster Abbey
Religion: Protestant
House: Tudor
Relationship Information
TV Character Information
Signature: Elizabeth Tudor's Signature
Portrays: Queen Elizabeth
Portrayed by: Rachel Skarsten

Elizabeth I was Queen of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death in 1603. With her death came the end of the Tudor line, and the ascension of a new one: the Stuarts.


Elizabeth was born at Greenwich Palace on 7 September 1533 to Anne Boleyn, and her husband and king, Henry VIII. She was the heir presumptive to the English throne, as her elder half-sister Mary had lost her position as a legitimate heir when Henry annulled his marriage to Mary's mother, Catherine of Aragon.

Her sister's Reign[]

15-year-old Edward VI died on 6 July 1553. His will swept aside the Succession to the Crown Act 1543, excluded both Elizabeth & Mary from the crown. Declaring his heir Lady Jane Grey, granddaughter of Henry VIII's sister Mary, Duchess of Suffolk.

Lady Jane was proclaimed Queen by the Privy Council, but her support quickly crumbled, and she was deposed after nine days. On 3 August 1553, Mary Tudor rode triumphantly into London, with Elizabeth at her side.

The show of solidarity between the sisters did not last long. Mary, a devout Catholic, was determined to crush the Protestant faith in which Elizabeth had been educated, and she ordered that everyone attend Catholic Mass; Elizabeth had to outwardly conform. Mary's initial popularity ebbed away in 1554 when she announced plans to marry Prince Philip of Spain, the son of Charles V and an active Catholic. Discontent spread through the country, and many looked to Elizabeth as a focus for their opposition to Mary's religious policies.

In early 1554, Wyatt's rebellion broke out, and Elizabeth was brought to court and interrogated regarding her role, and on 18 March, she was imprisoned in The Tower of London. Elizabeth fervently protested her innocence. Though it is unlikely that she had plotted with the rebels, some of them were known to have approached her. Mary's closest confidant, Simon Renard, argued that her throne would never be safe while Elizabeth lived; and the Chancellor, worked to have Elizabeth put on trial. Elizabeth's supporters in the government convinced Mary to spare her sister in the absence of hard evidence against her. Instead on 22 May, Elizabeth was moved from the Tower to Woodstock, where she would spend almost a year under house arrest. Crowds cheered her all along the way.

On 17 April 1555, Elizabeth was recalled to court to attend the final stages of Mary's apparent pregnancy. If Mary and her child died, Elizabeth would become Queen. If on the other hand, Mary gave birth to a healthy child, Elizabeth's chances of becoming queen would recede sharply. When it became clear that Mary was not pregnant, no one believed any longer that she could have a child. Elizabeth's succession seemed assured.

King Philip II ascended the Spanish throne in 1556, acknowledged the new political reality and cultivated his sister-in-law. She was a better ally than, Mary, Queen of Scots, who had grown up in France and was betrothed to the Dauphin of France .

By October 1558, Elizabeth was already making plans for her government. On 6 November, Mary recognised Elizabeth as her heir. Two weeks later, Mary died and Elizabeth succeeded to the throne.

Queen of England[]

Elizabeth became Queen at the age of 25, and declared her intentions to her Council and other peers who had come to Hatfield to swear allegiance.

As her triumphal progress wound through the city on the eve of the coronation ceremony, she was welcomed wholeheartedly by the citizens and greeted by orations and pageants, most with a strong Protestant flavour. Elizabeth's open and gracious responses endeared her to the spectators, who were "wonderfully ravished". The following day, 15 January 1559, Elizabeth was crowned and anointed by Owen Oglethorpe, the Catholic bishop of Carlisle, in Westminster Abbey. She was then presented for the people's acceptance, amidst a deafening noise of organs, fifes, trumpets, drums, and bells.


  • An era knows as The Elizabethan Era, or The Golden age, was named after Queen Elizabeth, and followers her reign from 1558 to 1603.
  • Both Elizabeth, and Edward Tudor (Elizabeth's brother) were raised Protestant
  • Was locked in The Tower of London for two months by her older sister, Mary Tudor.
  • Elizabeth became Queen of England when she was 25 years old.
  • On 2 April 1566, Lord Ruthven sent their testimony on David Rizzio's murder to Queen Elizabeth I, declaring they had acted the best for King Darnley, Mary, Queen of Scots, state and religion.
  • In 1570, Prince Henry and herself were in talks to possibly marry and produce an heir. Elizabeth is viewed by historians as having intended only to arouse the concern of Spain. Nothing ever happened, as Elizabeth was 37, to Prince Henry's 19.
  • In 1571, Captain John Hawkins saved Queen Elizabeth's life by pretending to be part of the Ridolfi Plot.
  • Queen Elizabeth personally knew William Shakespeare.
  • William Cecil was her Chief Advisor until his death at 77. He had also previously served her brother, King Edward VI during his three-year reign.

Family Tree[]

King Henry Tudor VII
Elizabeth of York
Arthur Tudor
Catherine of Aragon
King Henry VIII
Anne Boleyn
Mary Tudor
Margaret Tudor
Mary Tudor
Elizabeth Tudor
Frances Grey
King James Stuart
Lady Lennox
Lady Jane Grey
James Stuart
Mary Stuart
Lord Darnley

Other Faces of Elizabeth[]

Related Pages[]

Historical Figure

Pages: Historical Events | Historical References | Historical Timeline |
Kings: Antoine of Navarre | Edward VI of England | Henry II of France | Henry VIII of England | James V of Scotland | Francis I of France | Francis II of France | Charles IX of France | Philip II of Spain | James VI and I of Scotland and England |
Queens: Catherine of Aragon | Catherine de' Medici | Mary, Queen of Scots | Anne Boleyn | Elizabeth I of England | Jane Grey | Mary I of England | Jeanne of Navarre | Elisabeth de Valois | Marie de Guise |
Princes: Louis of Condé | Don Carlos of Spain | Henry of France | Henry de Bourbon | Francis de Valois |
Princesses: Claude de Valois | Margaret de Valois | Catherine de Bourbon |
Noblemen: Robert Dudley | William Cecil | Henry Stuart | Matthew Lennox | Patrick Ruthven | James Stuart |
Noblewomen: Amy Dudley | Diane de Poitiers | Lucrezia de' Medici | Mary Beaton | Mary Boleyn | Mary Fleming | Mary Livingston | Mary Seton | Margaret Lennox |
Others: David Rizzio | John Knox | Nostradamus | Pope Clement VII |