Ironically, most of these cosmetics did more damage to the skin than ageing ever could. But Elizabeth insisted that she continue to be adorned with this and other dangerous cosmetics, and only ever let her closest ladies see what lay beneath. Elizabeth found out and it was said that she cut off his head in revenge — although his rebellion against her [in February ] probably had something to do with it. Although she has gone down in history as the Virgin Queen, upon her accession it was widely expected that Elizabeth would marry.
But as she continued to resist pressure from her councillors to take a husband, rumours began to circulate that there was some secret reason why she was so determined not to marry. At the opposite end of the scale, there was a theory that the real reason Elizabeth would not marry was because she was really a man.
The fact that he was a boy was inconvenient, but he spent the rest of his life dressing as a woman to continue the pretence. The Bisley Boy theory has proved a curiously enduring one, despite the lack of any reliable evidence. Yet for many Catholics in England and abroad, Elizabeth was illegitimate. For a timeline of their rivalry, click here. Did Elizabeth and Mary ever actually meet? Find out here. Elizabeth has been portrayed more often in film and on television than any other British monarch.
More recently, Cate Blanchett gave us a distinctly un-virginal Elizabeth in the films of and , while Judi Dench won an Oscar for her brief but brilliant portrayal in Shakespeare in Love Time-travelling time lord, Doctor Who, has also bumped in Queen Elizabeth I in episodes from and Tracy Borman is a leading historian and joint chief curator for Historic Royal Palaces. June 14, at am. Illustration of Princess Elizabeth, about 10 years before she became Queen of England.
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Was she really a Virgin Queen? Why did she wear white make-up? From the time of her accession, Elizabeth was pursued by a variety of suitors, eager to marry the most eligible woman in the world. However, Elizabeth never married. One theory is that she never married because the way that her father had treated his wives had put her off marriage, another is that she was abused by Thomas Seymour while under the care of Katherine Parr, a third theory suggests that she was so in love with Robert Dudley that she could not bring herself to marry another man.
When Elizabeth became Queen, Robert Dudley was already married. Some years later his wife died in mysterious circumstances. Elizabeth could not marry him because of the scandal it would cause both at home and abroad. When word reached her that Mary was finally queen, she sent a letter of congratulation to her sister and set off for London.
On 29 July, she entered the capital with mounted men wearing the green and white Tudor colors. On 31 July, Elizabeth rode with her attendant nobles along the Strand and through the City to Colchester, the same path her sister would take.
Queen Elizabeth I: Biography, Facts, Portraits & Information
It was here she would receive her sister as queen. They had not seen each other for about five years. Elizabeth, Mary believed, was never to be trusted. After Anne died and Elizabeth, too, was declared illegitimate, Mary found other reasons to hate Elizabeth, chief among them religion. But at her accession, the moment of her great triumph, she was prepared to be conciliatory.
Mary ordered that Elizabeth share her triumphal march through London. Their processions met at Wanstead on 2 August. There, Elizabeth dismounted and knelt in the road before her sister. Mary dismounted and raised her sister, embracing and kissing her with affection.
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She even held her hand as they spoke. Their two parties entered London together, the sisters riding side by side.
The contrast between their physical appearances could not have been more striking. Mary, at thirty-seven, was old beyond her years. An adulthood passed in anxiety and tribulation had marred her health and appearance. Elizabeth was nineteen years old, taller than her sister and slender. While Mary was richly attired in velvets covered in jewels and gold, Elizabeth was dressed in her usual strikingly severe style. And since Mary was thirty-seven, quite old to have a child, Elizabeth was viewed as her probable heir. As such, she was cheered as much as the new queen.
She was once again accorded a place of honor amongst the English ladies, though not the highest position as was her due. The Imperial ambassador Renard reported that she spoke often with the French ambassador de Noailles. For his part, de Noailles reported that Elizabeth complained her coronet was too heavy and made her head ache. He replied to her that, God willing, she would soon wear a heavier crown. This was dangerous talk, as Elizabeth soon discovered. It was simply impossible for Mary to forget the past, etched so acutely upon her spirit.
She could not like Elizabeth, nor trust her. Elizabeth responded to this emotional hostility by retreating to Hatfield. There she continued her studies and attempted to remain safe in the morass of English politics. But however much she might wish for peace, she was not to have it. And there was soon much reason for discontent. There was a series of bad harvests. Prices rose and discontent spread.
This was yet another example of her inability to forget the past. Philip represented the homeland of her beloved mother, and a chance to bring all the weight of the Holy Roman Empire to bear upon the heretics of England. Mary was determined to turn back the clock on twenty years of religious reform and make England a Catholic nation again. Understandably, her subjects were less than thrilled. Even English Catholics did not want their country to become a powerless appendage of the Hapsburg empire. Elizabeth conformed outwardly to the Catholic faith.
But she could not distance herself too much from her Protestant supporters. Wyatt had written to Elizabeth that he intended to overthrow Mary but his letter was intercepted, as was a letter from de Noailles to the king of France. His letter implied that Elizabeth knew of the revolt in advance, and repeated rumors that she was off gathering armed supporters. The government was able to suppress the rebellion before it spread very far and Wyatt was arrested. She was understandably frightened and ill; she sent word that she could not travel.
They traveled quite slowly, covering just six miles a day. Elizabeth kept the curtains of the litter pulled back as she entered the city, and the citizens were able to see her pale, frightened face. She had good cause for her fear; the heads and corpses of Wyatt and his supporters were thrust upon spikes and gibbets throughout the city.
The queen waited for her at Whitehall but they did not meet immediately. She was questioned by the unfriendly bishop of Winchester, Stephen Gardiner, but she was not intimidated. She denied any involvement in the rebellion and repeatedly asked to see the queen. But she was told that Mary was leaving for Oxford where she would hold a Parliament. Elizabeth would be leaving Whitehall as well, though at first the council could not decide where to send her. No councilor wanted the responsibility of keeping her in close confinement at their homes; it was too unpleasant and potentially dangerous.
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And so Gardiner and Renard had their way and she went to the Tower of London. The earl of Sussex and the marquess of Winchester were sent to escort her from Whitehall. Elizabeth was terrified.
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The mere mention of the Tower was enough to shatter her already fragile nerves. She begged to be allowed to write to her sister, and the men agreed. The letter was long, rambling, and repetitious — proof of her fear and trepidation:. I have heard in my time of many cast away for want of coming to the presence of their Prince….
Therefore once again kneeling with humbleness of my heart, because I am not suffered to bow the knees of my body, I humbly crave to speak with your Highness, which I would not be so bold to desire if I knew not myself most clear as I know myself most true. And as for the traitor Wyatt, he might peradventure write me a letter but on my faith I never received any from him; and as for the copy of my letter sent to the French king, I pray God confound me eternally if ever I sent him word, message, token or letter by any means, and to this truth I will stand it to my death.
The letter had taken too long to write; they had missed the tide. They could wait a few hours and take her to the Tower in the darkest part of night, but the council disagreed. There could be an attempt to rescue her under cover of darkness. They decided to wait until the next morning, Palm Sunday, when the streets would be nearly deserted since everyone would be in church. Meanwhile, her letter was sent to Mary who received it angrily and refused to read it through.
She had not given permission for it to be written or sent, and she rebuked her councilors fiercely. The next morning, 17 March , arrived cold and grey; there was a steady rain.