Five Great Lives Cont’d – Queen Elizabeth 1

The reign of Queen Elizabeth of England was the richest in romance, adventure, gallantry and poetry in the history of the English people. She came to the throne of a country in despair and at the point of her death she left a prosperous country, rich in art, literature and architecture. This was a woman, ruthless, cold, clever and unscrupulous; yet made of such stuff that men counted it an honor to die for her whom they called ‘Gloriana.’ It was said of her that she loved nothing and nobody but England, and it can be truthfully said her England achieved a brilliance that has never been reached ever since her reign as queen. She was once quoted to have said, ‘no worldly thing under the sun isas dear to me as the love and goodwill of my subjects.’
As a child, Elizabeth knew reject from her father who wanted a male child to succeed him and was disappointed by the birth of a daughter. She knew loneliness as she was practically banished from her father’s presence and could not just appear in court except when called for which was a rare occurrence. Elizabeth knew bitterness as a child as she lost her mother, the ambitious Anne Boleyn at a tender age of three. She knew fear as she was vulnerable to those who saw her as a threat after she had been named by her father as second in command to the throne.
Elizabeth was accused of treason when Thomas Seymour attempted to overthrow his brother Edward Seymour as protector of England. She succeeded in proving her innocence but rumors of an affair with Seymour plagued her afterwards. She was again accused of treason in 1554 by her half-sister, Queen Mary after a brief fight for the throne against the scheme of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, to make his daughter-in-law, Jane Grey, queen. She was imprisoned at the tower of London for two months and later sent to Woodstock Manor in Oxfordshire where she remained a prisoner for a year. It was only at the request of Queen Mary’s husband, Phillip of Spain that she was allowed to return to her childhood home in Hertfordshire.
On 17th November 1558, Elizabeth finally succeeded to the throne. It was a moment of supreme triumph for the unwanted daughter who had spent her life in the shadow of the court, cast aside and forgotten. She rose above her limitations and became one of the greatest leaders our world has ever seen. The secret of her success cannot be pointed at except her ingenuity in surrounding herself with the best advisers possible and her fierce love for her country.
Elizabeth was dedicated to her country in a way few leaders had been or ever will be. She had the mind of a political genius and nurtured her country through careful leadership and by choosing capable and loyal men to assist her, such as Sir William Cecil and Sir Francis Walsingham. Elizabeth was a determined woman; she listened to the advice of people around her and will carefully edit out those that she feels are not good enough. Her approach to politics was serious, conservative and cautious therefore when she died at Richmond palace on the 24thMarch 1603, England was one of the most powerful and prosperous countries in the world.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s