Thursday, November 17, 2011

Elizabeth I

Concerning Marriage, which ye so earnestly move me to . . . . [N]ow that the publick Care of governing the Kingdom is laid upon me, to draw upon me also the Cares of Marriage may seem a point of inconsiderate Folly. Yea, to satisfie you, I have already joyned my self in Marriage to an Husband, namely, the Kingdom of England. . . . And do not upbraid me with miserable lack of Children: for every one of you, and as many as are Englishmen, are Children and Kinsmen to me; of whom if God deprive me not, (which God forbid) I cannot without injury be accounted Barren.

From her so-called "Marriage Speech" to the English parliament in 1559.

Only months after Elizabeth I succeeded her half-sister, Mary (not the same person as Mary, Queen of Scots), as Queen of England, on this date in 1558, Parliament tried to bully her into marriage in the hope that she would give birth to an heir and any disputes over her successor would be avoided.  The 25-year-old queen told Parliament they could stick it where the sun don't shine -- politely, of course.

Why was Elizabeth so averse to entering into a state of connubial bliss?  Perhaps because she was molested at age 14 by Thomas Seymour, the 40-year-old husband of Elizabeth's stepmother, Catherine Parr, who had married Seymour six months after the death of her third husband (and Elizabeth's father), King Henry VIII.

Elizabeth, a/k/a "The Virgin Queen," never married, dying heirless in the 45th year of her reign.

Cate Blanchett as Elizabeth I

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