I am not a lion.
But, I am a lion's cub.
And, I have a lion's heart
Elizabeth I, Queen of England
My obsession with the Tudor era continues:
One of the most famous monarchs of all time was Elizabeth I, the only child of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Over her lifetime she was considered a princess, a bastard, a lady, a bastard and back again over and over. Depending on his mood and current spouse, Henry VIII either recognized Elizabeth as his daughter or chose to distance himself from her completely.
A reformist like her mother, Elizabeth also fell in and out of her favor with her older half-sister, devout Catholic, Mary. Elizabeth's mother was the reason King Henry VIII divorced Mary's mother, Queen Katherine of Aragon, and Elizabeth's mother was the reason Mary was never allowed to see her mother again. Thankfully, "Bloody Mary," although no doubt nuts by the end of her reign as queen, was not able to bring herself to put an end to Elizabeth's life as she was encouraged to do. So, Elizabeth, a Protestant, as next in the line of succession, was crowned Queen of England upon Mary's death.
This first installment, followed by "Elizabeth, The Golden Years," added even more intrigue to this era for me. A woman, a daughter, a monarch, Elizabeth never thought she could or would have it all. She knew by her mother's example that to romanticize life as a royal was a pretty sure way to get herself killed. Elizabeth had her father's strength...and sometimes his anger, which helped her overcome many of her fears. She also had a stubborn streak like both her mother and father. She was very shrewd and intelligent and was a formidable statesman when it was practically unheard of for a woman to lead in politics. Elizabeth I loved her country and vowed to make it what it once had been and end all of the religious discord. Elizabeth would not be pushed aside as a woman who need only find a king to marry her and then rule England while she gave birth to male heirs. She chose to rule herself.
That's the key here for me. She chose.
While it's not so hard to believe a woman might choose to remain childless and unmarried in today's time, for the time in which Elizabeth lived, this was unheard of. Elizabeth chose to be her own mistress with England as her marriage partner.
Was her choice always a happy one?
Did she suck it up, stick her chin out and keep on going?
You better believe it.