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The reign of this queen is called the golden age of England. Under Elizabeth I, the Invincible Armada was defeated, the East India Company appeared, Drake and Reilly brought glory to the country on the seas.
But with Elizabeth the Tudor dynasty ended, the "virgin queen" left no legal heirs. At the time of her death in 1603, Elizabeth I was already a legend. Over the next four centuries, historians and biographers further embellished her life. The image of a stern unsmiling woman devoid of interest in life and entertainment has been created.
The further away from us in time that era is, the more difficult it is to verify the facts. A lot has been said about the great English queen, but some of the information is myths that have been reliably exposed. We will consider the most popular facts and misconceptions about the last representative of the ruling Tudor dynasty.
Elizabeth had problems with clothes as a child. In fact, the girl had to wear clothes that were small for her. Her governess, Lady Brian, was forced to personally write to the king petitions for the allocation of new clothes to his own daughter.
Elizabeth disliked her cousin, Lady Jane Gray. This is a very tragic figure who managed to visit the uncrowned queen of England for nine days, for which she paid with her life. Jane Gray was 4 years younger than Elizabeth, the girls were brought up together. The popular legend about their enmity has no proof. The girls spent a lot of time at a tender age, they were united by their interest in learning.
One of Elizabeth's legendary phrases was spoken on the death of Thomas Seymour. The Queen is credited with the following words: "On this day, a man of great mind died, who did not know how to use it." Thomas Seymour was a famous schemer at the Tudor court, who even wooed Elizabeth. But his attempts to seize power with a coup failed. At the execution of the grandee Elizabeth also uttered, allegedly, the famous phrase. In fact, these words were not said then, they appeared only in the 17th century, in the work of one historian.
The death of Thomas Seymour shocked Elizabeth so much that she vowed never to marry again. This is just another legend trying to prove why the Queen never got married. In the past, it was believed that marriage was the main and natural female desire, so people wondered why a man with a bunch of suitors in line refused to marry and wanted to be a single person.
Princess Elizabeth and Robert Dudley in the Tower were imprisoned aisle away. Indeed, in 1554, Elizabeth was imprisoned in the Tower, where her childhood friend Robert Dudley was also. They both ended up there on charges of conspiracy, fashionable at the time. But Mary Tudor decided to save her sister's life. There is a version that young people could communicate while walking in the courtyard, which formed the basis for future love. But the story of the close proximity of cameras, opposite each other, is a myth, albeit a romantic one.
Elizabeth was afraid of mice. And indeed it is. Contemporaries recall that the queen began to scream and climb on the back of a chair when she saw a mouse.
Queen Elizabeth never smiled. The queen became famous for her smile, which she herself considered her weapon. She seemed to be able to melt anyone's heart. Elizabeth also had a good sense of humor, she loved to laugh.
Queen Elizabeth had a very bad temper. Queen Elizabeth became famous for the manifestations of her anger. However, she showed it when necessary. In general, she had a good-natured character. But those who acted contrary to her, she could send to the Tower. Those of the courtiers who entered into marriage without the consent of the queen turned out to be locked up. But more often than not, her anger was not followed by action. Elizabeth earned the nickname "ice queen", but she did not deserve it at all. Even her contemporaries noted that other monarchs in anger were much more terrible than the English queen. And she was only angry if there was a serious reason for it.
Queen Elizabeth regularly beat her ladies-in-waiting. Only one case of physical assault by the queen in relation to the maid of honor is documented. Got Mary Shelton, who got married without Elizabeth's permission. It annoyed her when the maids were willful about this. The Queen believed that the girls' parents trusted them to her so that she would personally find a husband for them. And she considered this behavior as a personal betrayal. The story that once the queen hit the girl with a candlestick has not been confirmed. Elizabeth usually did not beat people at all, although she probably had the right to do so due to her status. One day, she did hit a member of the Council, the Earl of Essex. But he greatly insulted Elizabeth, whom he hated.
Queen Elizabeth was polite and courteous. There have been times when Her Majesty behaved absolutely not royal. When she was angry, she used terrible foul language. And if she did not like the outfit of some courtier, then she could even spit at him.
Queen Elizabeth had many lovers. Sensationalists will love such rumors, in fact, in fact, the queen had only one love affair. Elizabeth had fondness for Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. Perhaps she could even secretly marry him. They were also united by common political interests. But the relationship with Christopher Hutton, Water Raleigh and the Earl of Essex are invented by historians.
Queen Elizabeth had secret and illegitimate children. For centuries, stories have circulated that the virgin queen did have children. Some even today argue that Francis Bacon and the Earl of Essex were in fact her sons. But there is no credible evidence that the queen ever gave birth. And it would be impossible to hide the pregnancy from the yard. Rather, she really was the virgin queen, as she called herself.
Queen Elizabeth has always dressed magnificently, befitting her position. There is a story that once Elizabeth disguised herself as a maid to play a trick on Robert Dudley. On other occasions, too, she might well have dressed simply to go to secret lunch with him.
Queen Elizabeth never mentioned her mother's name. On at least one occasion, the Queen mentioned Anne Boleyn's name to defend her reputation in front of a foreign ambassador. So “never mentioned” statements should be spoken with caution. The fact that it is absent in the official documents does not mean that it was not. In 1575, the queen made herself a ring with a picture of herself and her mother. So Elizabeth had to mention her name anyway when placing the order.
Queen Elizabeth was bald. It is often said that at the age of 30, the queen lost her hair. In fact, there are links that report her own gray hair at the age of 60. In the 1580s, she even gave her hair to Philip Sidney. It is still kept at Wilton House, Wiltshire. And a few years before her death, Robert Devereaux, Earl of Essex, entered the queen's bedroom without permission and saw her "with gray hair on her ears." And the high forehead in the portraits of Elizabeth could very likely be not a sign of lack of hair, but an exaggeration of the artists. They knew that in the Queen's opinion, such a sign meant intelligence. Maybe that's why Elizabeth wore wigs and cut the front of her hair to make them fit better. It is likely that the woman has lost some of her hair due to the lead in her makeup "youth mask". He was present on the queen's face. But even if Elizabeth lost some of her hair, she certainly was not bald.
Queen Elizabeth had a sixth finger on one hand, just like her mother. There is no evidence of the existence of a sixth finger on Anne Boleyn's hand, respectively, and the same can be said about Elizabeth. She was an ordinary woman.
Queen Elizabeth had beautiful teeth. It's no secret that Elizabeth adored sweet foods. She tried to brush her teeth and take care of them, but she could not defeat caries. Her teeth were both yellow and black. Some foreign ambassadors noted that the queen did indeed have black teeth. Also, the woman was missing several teeth, which directly affected her speech and made some words incomprehensible.
Queen Elizabeth was afraid to have her teeth treated. It was said that the woman was so afraid of dentists that one of the archbishops, as proof of the tolerance of pain during tooth extraction, demonstrated this on himself. For a long time, she herself preferred to suffer from toothache, refusing the intervention of a doctor. But in the case of the archbishop, the queen agreed to see a doctor and go through the painful procedure only after the priest had another tooth removed. The Queen wanted to make sure that the treatment was completely safe.
Elizabeth gave nicknames to her beloved courtiers. For example, she called Robert Dudley with her “eyes,” William Cecil was called “spirit,” Robert Cecil was her “dwarf” or “elf,” Sir Christopher Hutton was the “hat,” and Sir Francis Walsingham was the “Moor”. And her potential fiancé Francis, Duke of Alenson, she called "the frog."
Shakespeare was actually Queen Elizabeth. Since in those years drama was considered a dubious event for important people, it was said that Elizabeth could create under the pseudonym William Shakespeare. But this is a beautiful legend that has no proof. Moreover, some of the plays of the famous playwright were written after the death of Elizabeth. The fourth period of his work, albeit not the most productive, dates back to 1609-1612. But the queen died in 1603.
Queen Elizabeth was actually a man. The idea that Elizabeth was either a disguised man or an hermaphrodite originated from the belief that a woman, in principle, cannot successfully lead a country. That is why some were looking for some kind of secret. It was believed that any woman seeks to get married, and since this did not happen to the queen, there must be a good reason. Bram Stoker told the story of how one day King Henry went to visit his daughter, who is being raised in Coswold. However, she died of an acute fever shortly before his visit. Then, in order not to cause royal wrath, a handsome boy with a similar hair color was found. He was dressed up in a princess dress, deceiving Henry VIII. The boy had to portray Elizabeth all his life. The following reasons are given in favor of this theory. Firstly, the queen had a secretive nature, she never got married or had children, she had many wigs, she refused to communicate with doctors. But this conspiracy theory is easily debunked by quite historical facts. Elizabeth was not bald at all; eyewitnesses saw her gray hair. The woman had periods of menstruation, as reported by bribed laundresses. Even in old age, she loved low necklines, so that it would be illogical due to the lack of breasts. An intimate relationship with Robert Dudley denies the possibility of a male queen. And the doctors examined her at least once during the negotiations on marriage, testifying to the possibility of having children.
Queen Elizabeth often gave orders to chop off heads. And although during the reign of Elizabeth many were indeed executed, only a few were actually beheaded. Such an execution was provided for the most thoroughbred nobles. Ordinary people were simply hanged, and religious dissidents were burned. When it was necessary to sign the death warrant, the queen was always embarrassed. And in the case of the Duke of Norfolk, one of the most influential courtiers, Elizabeth twice overturned the death sentence. True, in the end, the intriguer was still executed.
Queen Elizabeth was superstitious and interested in the occult. In those days, most enlightened people were interested in the occult sciences and black magic. Superstition, however, in the context of the poor development of science was commonplace. Elizabeth was very interested in the work of John Dee, an occultist, astronomer and astrologer. Once in London, a queen's doll was found, whose heart was pierced with a pin. Elizabeth was so scared that she summoned John Dee. She asked him to neutralize the deadly spells that were directed against her.
Queen Elizabeth rarely took a bath. In those years, baths were considered a luxury, they were taken more for medical reasons and could not indulge in them for pleasure. Elizabeth took a bath every few weeks, which was quite common by the standards of that time. She was very concerned about personal hygiene, but there were many courtiers next to her who smelled foul.
Queen Elizabeth knighted Francis Drake on his famous ship called the Golden Hind. Queen Elizabeth did not personally knight Francis Drake, although she was present at the Golden Doe at the time. Elizabeth asked the French ambassador to do this in her place. It was a very smart political move. The Queen knew that the Spaniards did not like the activities of Drake the pirate, who plundered their ships. And the dedication to the knighthood of a sailor by the French ambassador was to win a powerful ally to the side of the British.
Queen Elizabeth ordered the removal of all mirrors in her palace. They say that the woman was so afraid of old age that she chose not to see her aging reflection at all. Elizabeth was indeed worried about her appearance, but her vanity should not be exaggerated. The monarch was flattered by everyone, and he had to live up to the assigned role. Elizabeth willy-nilly had to dress better than everyone else. It was hard to do without a mirror. And there is no evidence of the removal of mirrors in the palace; it is even difficult to understand where such a myth came from.
The Earl of Essex sent his ring to Elizabeth before her execution. The continuation of this romantic story says that one of the courtiers hid the ring at home, earning the Queen's disfavor forever. In England, this myth is quite popular, it has both romance and drama. But this story was created only in the 17th century.
Elizabeth hated Catholics. The Queen was surprisingly tolerant of people of different religions. She said, “There is only one Christ, Jesus, and only one faith. And everything else is a dispute over trifles. " Due to some circumstances, the government was forced to take a tough stance towards Catholics. But Elizabeth herself was uncomfortable with such persecution of Christians.
When Elizabeth was dying, her ghost was seen in the corridors of the Richmond Palace. This story was told by one of the queen's maids. But she only wanted to inspire people that Elizabeth was a witch and doomed to wander around as a restless ghost, unable to get to heaven. The myth was created by Elizabeth Southwell, an ardent Catholic. For political reasons, she wanted to reduce the popularity of the queen.
On her deathbed, the Queen whispered the name of Robert Dudley. Notes about the last moments of Elizabeth's life do not contain mention of this name. Even if she whispered a word, it would be "Robin", as the queen used to call her close friend. Only this word could refer to Robert Devereaux, Earl of Essex. He was also one of Elizabeth's favorites, and his recent execution for riot worried the woman greatly.
The last words of the queen were: "I will give everything that I have in a moment of life." This phrase is often referred to as the last words of Elizabeth. However, according to another version, she pointed to her ring worn on the day of the coronation, saying: "This is my only wedding ring." So she remained faithful to the image of a virgin to the end. In fact, Elizabeth's "last words" were invented and attributed to her later. Eyewitnesses to her death did not write about anything like that. Most likely, the queen was simply dying, speechless. And no one can say what her last words were.
The ghost of Queen Elizabeth haunts Windsor Castle. Some people in the library at Windsor Castle noticed the ghost of a lady in black robes. It is believed to be the ghost of Queen Elizabeth Tudor. They also saw him on the walls of the castle. True, according to rumors, the ghost's face is hidden under a veil. So if he does exist, then he cannot be Queen Elizabeth. Then this is another lady of the period of her life.