ELIZABETH THE 1ST: THE VIRGIN QUEEN OF THE GOLDEN AGE
Among the endless pantheon of various famous women who have existed throughout history, modern or not, Elizabeth the 1st was a woman who existed eons ahead of herself and her time, for what she accomplished as the Queen of England back in the days of The Tower, and regularly scheduled be-headings as well as some of the most horrifying ways to die that one could invent, existed a reciprocal and mutually beneficial relationship with her people that not just any imperious monarch could manufacture or manipulate into existence.
By the end of Elizabeth’s rule, the age in which she ruled was referred to as “The Golden Age”, as Elizabeth managed to make England by the end of her 40 year reign the richest country in Europe, with the most dedicated and devoted subjects, those Protestant and Catholic, one could ever hope to rule over most magnanimously. Elizabeth was literally a phenomenon, a force that would not be stopped, either by an assassin’s bullet or by her own cousin, Mary, who was eventually hanged for her treasonous acts against Elizabeth. Few knew that Elizabeth had signed Mary’s Death Warrant almost one full year before the execution was actually carried out. Mary was kept as a prisoner in a Scottish castle for over 20 years, while Elizabeth’s most loyal advisers, including William Cecil, worked away in the background to prove Mary’s treasonous guilt, and it was Mary, who eventually through the evidence found against her, had signed her own guilt into existence, in letters to the people working with her in the shadows that were plotting the removal and execution of the illegitimate whore they referred to as Elizabeth the 1st.
One of Elizabeth’s closest, most loyal and brilliantly intelligent key advisers was William Cecil . Cecil would stop at nothing to protect his beloved Queen and the subjects she ruled so graciously. It was William Cecil, who collected the evidence that would serve as the noose around Mary Queen of Scots neck. After a much discussed and hurried court, she was pronounced a Traitor to her Queen and the people of England and Scotland. William Cecil wanted to make sure that Mary was executed most expeditiously. Elizabeth had reluctantly signed Mary Queen of Scott’s death warrant, but had instructed William Cecil at that time that no execution would take place until and only until Elizabeth acquiesced and gave her consent. Not only had they gone behind her back, without her consent or affirmation, they had gone so far as to execute Mary, when they were expressly instructed not to do so by the Queen herself. Elizabeth was horrified beyond words that she had committed such a grave offense in the murdering of an anointed by God Queen, that she would most certainly be punished by God for this grave sin. The plot that would seal Mary’s fate was the Babington plot, which resulted in many foiled assassination events against Elizabeth’s person, none of which succeeded, with great relief to Elizabeth.
Elizabeth was centuries ahead of her time, she was a leader and a role model for women everywhere in her Queen Dom and beyond, because she set the rules for her country, and enforced them. She was however, also born with royal blood, which made her ascension that much easier, than it would have for any other normal woman in England. While Elizabeth enjoyed working very hard at court, she also enjoyed the more worldly pursuits, such as music, theatre and the arts in general. She was a great supporter of all of the arts, and made sure that she was surrounded with the most talented artists and musicians, playwrights and composers, who wrote pieces in her honor and who painted portraits of the Queen over and over again.
Elizabeth herself, cultivated a look that was pale, and very ethereal, almost not of the earth, but of a more saintly plain. Elizabeth wore garments which contained actual gold and silver, her wardrobe was very rich with nothing but the finest silks and most beautiful fabrics. To achieve this very pale and saintly glow, she wore what was considered makeup for her time, it was a mixture of white lead and vinegar, called the Spirits of Saturn, however, it is now believed of course that her makeup regimen was probably a contributor to her death, in a great way. However, Elizabeth cultivated a look that was true to her sometime moniker, The Virgin Queen.
Elizabeth for many years was referred to by many, as The Virgin Queen. While early in her rule she cultivated a relationship that she thought would be the relationship of her life, she watched as those marriages and relationships around her ended in disgrace or sorrow, and chose to be married to England, rather than any earthbound human man. Elizabeth herself claimed the title, “The Virgin Queen”, and remained so until her death, on March 24th, 1603, at the age of 70. And, at the time of her death, England was the richest and most powerful commonwealth in all the world, due in large part to Elizabeth’s sharp mindful rule of her country, and her subjects.
Many movies, plays, books, and documentaries have been made regarding the Virgin Queen, or the last Queen from the House of Tudor, and the most famous Queen ever to rule any commonwealth, the world over. Elizabeth was one of a kind, a true original living and making decisions so far ahead of her time, that it stunned many that she was as shrewd a politician as any man could have been or was in that time period. She was a woman who worked hard during the day, and enjoyed in the beginning the romance that could be inspired between man and woman, and a woman who had many varied and different pursuits, including playing more than one musical instrument, and cultivating a physical look for her time that was copied the world over for years to come.
Women today can look at Elizabeth’s life and marvel at all she accomplished as just one woman, in the time she served as England’s most powerful monarch, and we can marvel at her achievements and her success, and she was just the first of many who would come after her, not to mention the women who had come before her to inspire her as she managed to inspire so many herself. She is just the first in a very long line of accomplished and successful, groundbreaking women whom I hope will be as inspiring to you as they are and have been to me, and here, in HER STORY, we can look at their lives and their accomplishments, and look to our own stories to see how we ourselves, living in our day and age, can contribute to the world as women, in ways that will astonish and amaze. We as women, are in for an amazing ride!