|Elizabeth Tudor (gloriana_) wrote,|
@ 2011-10-11 07:11:00
|QUEEN ELIZABETH I|
a lion's heart
Though the sex to which I belong is considered weak you will nevertheless find me a rock that bends to no wind.
I grieve and dare not show my discontent,
I love and yet am forced to seem to hate,
I do, yet dare not say I ever meant,
I seem stark mute but inwardly do prate.
I am and not, I freeze and yet am burned,
Since from myself another self I turned.
My care is like my shadow in the sun,
Follows me flying, flies when I pursue it,
Stands and lies by me, doth what I have done.
His too familiar care doth make me rue it.
No means I find to rid him from my breast,
Till by the end of things it be supprest.
Some gentler passion slide into my mind,
For I am soft and made of melting snow;
Or be more cruel, love, and so be kind.
Let me or float or sink, be high or low.
Or let me live with some more sweet content,
Or die and so forget what love ere meant.
PERSONALITY & DEMEANOR
I may not be a lion, but I am a lion's cub, and I have a lion's heart
Elizabeth is clever, sardonically witty, charismatic and a scrappy survivor against all odds. This isn't to say that Elizabeth has no negative traits, far from it. She's short-tempered, somewhat indecisive, a little arrogant, showy, and stubborn enough to make mules look easy-going.Never tell Elizabeth that she can't do something just because she's a woman. She ruled the British Empire for 44 years, so she can sure as fuck stomp you into the ground. Those that doubt her soon meet the sharp edge of her tongue. Her will is iron-strong and she doesn't back down from anything.
Elizabeth adores learning and will happily spend her spare time teaching herself new things about the world around her. She has a passion and skill for languages and from her former life knows Latin, French, Greek, Italian, Cornish. Since then she has added to this Russian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and Korean. She loves writing poetry as well.
She enjoys watching theatre - during her rule she had her own troupe called the The Queen's Men who would come and perform at court - and live music, and she is a skilled musician herself. (She used to play the virginal and lute, but now those skills have transferred to the piano and guitar.)
When she has the chance she still enjoys both hunting, hawking, and horse riding. (She is an expert rider and adores being able to ride without holding back. Even when she alive, Elizabeth was famed for riding harder than any of her courtiers could keep up well into her sixties, which terrified her advisers who thought she might end up killing herself. She still goes all out and owns two horses in upstate New York that were a gift to her from a grateful client.) Any time she gets to be outdoors and away from the city lifts her mood. She loves to dance, especially anything that makes strong physical demands on her body. She likes to keep fit and active.
Elizabeth loves beautiful and expensive things, but she hates having to spend money to obtain them. So one of the surest ways to Elizabeth's heart is to lavish her with pricey gifts that she'll refuse to buy for herself. She has an affection for expensive timepieces especially, having owned the very first wristwatch in England.
She isn't a virgin, but you'll never hear her speaking about her sex life. She is discreet and will claim virginity to anyone who has the gall to ask - and then she'll probably tell them to fuck right off. (But to those she does take as a lover, she is passionate and adoring, as well as incredibly jealous and possessive. )
She is still Christian but doesn't really adhere to any denomination, nor does she care how other people choose to worship. She thinks religion is a private business that shouldn't be spoken about.
To be a king and wear a crown, is a thing more glorious to them that see it, than it is pleasant to them that bear it
Elizabeth was the second child of English King Henry VIII and his second wife Anne Boleyn, born at Greenwich Palace 7 September 1533 and named after both of her grandmothers, Elizabeth Howard and Elizabeth of York. Her elder sister Mary should have been next in line for the throne, but lost that position when Henry annulled her mother. Thus it was that little baby Elizabeth became the heir presumptive once she popped out.
Anne Boleyn was executed (for trumped up charges of adultery, incest and treason) in 1536 when Elizabeth was not yet three-years-old, and the young girl was declared illegitimate and no longer a princess. She was bounced around different carers, all of which knew her as a clever and well-mannered child. By the time she was eleven, Elizabeth could write in English, Latin, and Italian, and over the next four years she worked her way through Greek, French, and (reportedly) Cornish. (When she finished her schooling in 1550 at age seventeen, Elizabeth was considered to be the best educated woman of her generation.)
In 1547 Henry and his widow, Catherine Parr, soon married Thomas Seymour. The couple took the fourteen-year-old Elizabeth to live with them in Chelsea. Thomas Seymour here took an interest in the teenage ex-princess and would do things like come into her room in the mornings and climb into her bed to tickle and roll about with her, come spend time with her half-dressed, and slap her on the bottom. Catherine Parr wasn't exactly helpful in this behavior and sometimes joined in, one time holding Elizabeth while Thomas cut her gown off her body. No one can be sure of exactly the things that were going on to Elizabeth while she was in the house or how far it went, but once Catherine Parr found the two of them in an embrace she sent Elizabeth away. (Either to protect her marriage or to protect Elizabeth, we can't be sure. But four months later Catherine was dead and Thomas put in failed a bid to marry Elizabeth.)
Elizabeth's sister Mary took the throne and Elizabeth (along with the rest of England) conformed themselves to Catholicism. Elizabeth, raised a Protestant, was seen by the people as less cray-cray and looked to her as a focus for their cause. So in 1554 after a rebellion against the queen broke out and failed, Elizabeth was interrogated and then imprisoned in the Tower of London despite her protests of innocence. Although Mary was convinced that her throne was in jeopardy as long as Elizabeth was alive, members of government on Elizabeth's side managed to convince Mary to spare her sister for lack of evidence. So after two months imprisoned in the same Tower that her mother spent the last seventeen days of her life, Elizabeth was sent away to Oxfordshire to be kept under house arrest for the next year.
The strength of the nation was behind Elizabeth ascending to the throne as Mary's health failed and she produced no child, and in November of 1555 Mary finally recognised Elizabeth as her heir. A week later she was dead and Elizabeth became the queen of England at age twenty-five.
After Bloody Mary, Elizabeth was a relief for the people of England as she didn't really give a shit how people worshiped. She was Protestant herself but had Catholic-tastic crucifixes around. She repealed the previous heresy laws so you couldn't burn people at the stake for their religious beliefs (yay) but she did make it compulsorary for her people to attend church on Sunday or be fined (boo).
After becoming queen her advisers started encouraging Mary to get married, to which Elizabeth replied with a hearty 'lol wut'. Instead she continued to politely refuse all proposals from foreign dignitaries, all the while working to make them believe she might one day accept.
Though 'The Virgin Queen' never married, this doesn't necessarily mean she didn't take lovers. From childhood she was very close to Robert Dudley, and kept him at court with her where the two made no secret of their open affection for each other despite the fact that he was already married. Whether they were getting down and dirty nightly (as many in the court assumed even at the time) we can't know for sure, but it's rather likely they were, if not actually lovers, then at least incredibly romantically entangled. In later years Elizabeth was a raging jealous bitch to his second wife and wouldn't even allow her to come anywhere near court and after her death a letter was found. She might have actually married Dudley if his first wife hadn't met such a suspicious death by falling down a flight of stairs and thus making him an unsuitable possible-murderer for the queen to make her husband.
She spun her marital status well, saying that she was married to her country instead, saying once 'all my husbands, my good people'. She also refused to name an heir to the throne, fearing that doing so would put her in danger of a coup. Elizabeth wasn't going to have any husband or kid getting her booted off her own throne.
To the Catholics, Elizabeth was not their true queen and they instead rallied for Mary, Queen of Scots to have the throne. There was plots to make Mary queen but everything went wrong for her. Elizabeth was famed for being incredibly lucky with her rule, along with her cleverness, so maybe Mary was the unlucky one because she ended having to flee her own county and come to England, seeking Elizabeth's help to regain her own kingdom. She was immediately imprisoned, but to protect her as well as keep her out of trouble. For twenty years she stayed locked up and all the while Elizabeth refused to even hear about the idea of Mary being executed. But eventually Mary's part in these plots meant Elizabeth had to have her killed, something which was said to deeply upset her.
Elizabeth's most famous victory was that of her defeat against the supposedly unbeatable Spanish Armada. After Mary got the chop, King Phillip of Spain decided he was going to make his move to own England and in 1588 he sent his ships in. Elizabeth went to inspect her troops, clad in a white velvet dress and silver breast plate, and there gave one of her most famous speeches.
My loving people, we have been persuaded by some that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit ourself to armed multitudes for fear of treachery; but I assure you, I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people ... I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a King of England too, and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any Prince of Europe should dare to invade the borders of my realm
The armada got owned and Elizabeth's popularity in England sky-rockted to its peak. She was the rockstar of ye olde times after that. (And she'd proven to herself - and her doubters - that a woman could win a war just as well as any man.)
But during the next fifteen years (the last years of her reign) Elizabeth fell increasingly out of favour with the people of England as taxes went up and the standard of living went down, much of this having to do with the conflicts with Spain and in Ireland dragging on and on. She began the interrogations and monitoring of Catholics and used propaganda and spies to keep it quiet. In her final years Elizabeth was being strongly criticized, the public having lost so much of their affection for her. She herself was losing control of the nation, some of this because all of her old advisers had died by now and she was relying on new ones who didn't seem to be quite so good at their job and/or didn't much care for the people of England.
Still the later years of Elizabeth's reign are often called The Golden Age, a time in which England's art flourished. It was the time of John Lyly, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, and Christopher Marlowe
It was the time of When she ascended the throne in 1558, the country was impoverished and torn apart by religious in-fighting, but by the time of her death on 24th March 1603, England was one of the most powerful and prosperous countries in the world. During this period and the Jacobean era that followed, English theatre reached its peak.
In the autumn of 1602 Elizabeth was struck down by a series of deaths among those she loved, most notably Catherine Howard and cousin and close friend Catherine, Lady Knollys. In March, she fell sick and fell into a 'unremovable melancholy'. She died in the middle of the night on 24 March 1603 at Richmond Palace. A few hours later plans were being made to install James VI of Scotland as the King of England.
The people of England were pretty hopeful for his reign but he turned out to be shit and thus the populace was all Hey, remember Elizabeth? She was totally awesome. I miss Liz :(, so by the 1620s people had revived the cult of Elizabeth that had been hanging around when she'd been queen. She was praised as a heroine of the Protestant cause and the ruler of the awesome time in which everything was awesome. Elizabeth's reign became idealised as a time when crown, church and parliament had worked in constitutional balance and were awesome. This adoration popped up again in the Napoleonic Wars and the Victorian age, when the people in England looked back and decided that Elizabeth was amazing beyond all belief and never did anything wrong and probably pooped roses as well.
It was during this Victorian revival that Elizabeth was reborn in America, the English version of her having appeared much earlier. It's not easy for a British monarch in the United States, but she's quite pleased with the nation considering that under her rule was when England first began to colonize it. She thinks of the Americans as being her wayward children of sorts.