HERALDRY, CHIVALRY & RENAISSANCE


Queen Elizabeth I
Click for Enlarged Photo of Medallion

Queen Elizabeth

The reign of Queen Elizabeth I is often referred to as The Golden Age of English history. Elizabeth was an immensely popular Queen, and her popularity has waned little with the passing of four hundred years. She is still one of the best loved monarchs, and one of the most admired rulers of all time. She became a legend in her own lifetime, famed for her remarkable abilities and achievements. Yet, about Elizabeth the woman, we know very little. She is an enigma, and was an enigma to her own people.

Elizabeth was the daughter of King Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn. She was born on 7 September 1533 at Greenwich Palace. Her birth was possibly the greatest disappointment of her father's life. He had wanted a son and heir to succeed him as he already had a daughter, Mary, by his first wife, Katherine of Aragon.

Elizabeth succeeded to the throne on 17th November 1558. 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. Elizabeth was crowned Queen on Sunday 15th January 1559. In the months that followed, Elizabeth re-established the Protestant Church in England and restored the debased coinage. Perhaps to appease Catholics or to appease those who did not believe a woman could become head of the church, Elizabeth became Supreme Governor of the Church of England, rather than Supreme Head as her father had been.

In a genius of political wheeling and dealing, she managed to use her single state to benefit the country by using the bait of marriage to draw in enemies, or to frighten them by suggesting she would marry one of their foes.

Elizabeth was dedicated to her country in a way few monarchs had been or have been since. Elizabeth had the mind of a political genius and nurtured her country through careful leadership and by choosing capable men to assist her, such as Sir William Cecil and Sir Francis Walsingham. Elizabeth was a determined woman, but she was not obstinate. She listened to the advice of those around her, and would change a policy if it was unpopular. In appearance she was extravagant, in behaviour sometimes flippant and frivolous, but her approach to politics was serious, conservative, and cautious. When she ascended the throne in 1558, England was an impoverished country torn apart by religious squabbles. When she died at Richmond Palace on the 24th March 1603, England was one of the most powerful and prosperous countries in the world.

By Heather Thomas, www.elizabethi.org


Heraldry, Chivalry & Renaissance Gallery | Back | Next


Medallion Gallery:
Alchemy | Ancient Symbols | Animal Spirits| Celtic | Heraldry
Mythical Beings
| Native American | Runes | US Military | Zodiac


HomeAbout | Schedule | Gallery Index | Order | Custom Work | Contact | Links

Copyright © 2004 Michael Stewart - Quick Silver Mint
Website Design by Lauren Raine and Creation-Designs