450 years between the Elizabeths and how the monarchs changed
As Elizabeth I sat on her throne, do you think she ever felt lonely? After all, despite being queen for 44 long years, she never took a husband. But why? Surely someone so powerful had no trouble attracting a partner? Well, it turns out that single life suited Elizabeth just fine — and for good reason.
Knowing the violent history of their political beginnings, it’s no wonder why Elizabeth I declared herself the Virgin Queen. She reigned for 44 years and died of vanity practices, lead and mercury poisoning from “make-up,” since her beauty was how she thought she held onto her throne. And she was wily in negotiating too. Lonely? Most definitely, with treachery around every corner. And pregnancy was often a frightful “death sentence” at that time (clothing, unsanitary practices are but a few reasons). And men wielded the power. She took her duty as ruler seriously and declared she was married to the crown. History was staring her in the face.
Elizabeth II had her Corgis, horses and a husband and children and stylists and the media. And she had the world’s attention as the longest reigning monarch. Victoria had set the bar. Victoria had also birthed 9 children; her cousin Charlotte, who was in line to the throne, died in childbirth, leaving the ascension to her cousin Victoria. Birthing was dangerous. One thing that changed was the fashions of the day. Women were no long being bound up in corsets. Victoria wore “maternity” dresses that offered ample room for comfort at her requests. 450 years between the Elizabeth times on the throne and much progress had been realized and many old prejudices still need healing.
Elizabeth I had to be a sharp thinker, as she was born into a family ravaged by scheming and betrayal. Her dad was, of course, Henry VIII, while her mom was Anne Boleyn, who was beheaded on Henry’s orders while Elizabeth was still a toddler. Living through such a gruesome episode undoubtedly left its mark on the young princess.
Both had many crosses to bear in their lifetimes. Stability held both as most important and in that they succeeded. Both were steadfast. Women ruler’s in Britain has come to an end for now. New dramas are on the horizon for the crown. God save the King and the people under his domain.