Being a king or queen is no joke and much more difficult than you think if you consider all the weird rules they have to follow and sacrifices they have to make. Turns out that putting your country above yourself is one of the hardest choices that a monarch has to make. Beside every king, there is a queen and beside every queen, there’s a king in order to keep the throne in their family.
At least that’s what we know. However, there’s a particular queen who never followed this routine. Queen Elizabeth I is the only English queen who never got married.
Elizabeth began her reign as Queen of England on November 17th, 1558, as a 25-year-old young woman. Interestingly, when Elizabeth gave her first speech in early 1559, she made a famous statement, saying that “it would be sufficient for her to live and die a virgin” and apparently she went through with it.
Queen Elizabeth I wanted to remain independent of any foreign influence, something that marriage would bring. Something that went terribly wrong for her older sister Mary who got married to King Philip II of Spain. Also, foreign marriage would mean a foreign king and a foreign heir, something that she didn’t want.
Throughout her life, she kept everyone guessing on the subject of who she might marry. But she never did. The former Queen emphasised her image of the “Virgin Queen” and portrayed herself as a monarch who put the stability and security of the country before her personal happiness.
Nevertheless, we have to look at examples in her family. As a child, her father, King Henry VIII’s married a total of six times. When she was only three years old, she witnessed the k*lling of two of her father’s wives. Anne Boleyn was beh€aded for tr€ason and adult€ry. Elizabeth also witnessed the execution of her stepmother, Catherine Howard, in 1542. Out of the four other stepmothers she had, two were divorced and cast aside. One died in childbirth and the last one barely survived due to an implication of suspected blasphemy, just months before her father’s death.
Many expected her to marry in order to secure her succession. But despite the many foreign Princes and English Noblemen, she remained single until the end of her life. Now, the big question is Why? Who were some of her notable suitors? Did she make a mistake? Some historians today believe she chose to remain single to protect England’s security.
Many years later, in March 1603, Elizabeth died a virgin at the age of 69. Regardless of all the misfortune she witnessed whilst growing up, Queen Elizabeth I remained one of the strongest monarchs, England ever had.