Manual Marriage with my Kingdom: The Courtships of Queen Elizabeth I

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Her half-brother, Edward VI , ruled until his death in , bequeathing the crown to Lady Jane Grey and ignoring the claims of his two half-sisters, Elizabeth and the Roman Catholic Mary , in spite of statute law to the contrary. Edward's will was set aside and Mary became queen, deposing Lady Jane Grey.

During Mary's reign, Elizabeth was imprisoned for nearly a year on suspicion of supporting Protestant rebels. In , Elizabeth succeeded her half-sister to the throne and set out to rule by good counsel.

Marriage with my kingdom: the courtships of Elizabeth I - Alison Plowden - Google книги

She depended heavily on a group of trusted advisers, led by William Cecil, Baron Burghley. One of her first actions as queen was the establishment of an English Protestant church, of which she became the Supreme Governor. The obvious intimacy between them provoked endless speculation about just how close their relationship was.

Marriage with my kingdom: The courtships of Elizabeth I

It is unlikely that Elizabeth, who had seen so many powerful examples of the perils of sex and childbirth, would have risked the throne she had fought so hard for by sleeping with her favourite. But their friendship probably charted a careful course between platonic and sexual.

A Royal Wedding: Princess Elizabeth Weds Philip (1947) - British Pathé

His age placed his conception at , which coincided with Elizabeth being bedridden with a mysterious illness that caused her body to swell. The account therefore had an air of credibility, made more so by the fact that Arthur was able to name a servant who had allegedly spirited him away from the royal palace of Hampton Court near London as soon as he was born and raised him as his own, only confessing the truth on his deathbed in The circumstances were suspicious. Amy insisted that all her servants attend a local fair. When they returned, they found her at the bottom of a short flight of stairs, her neck broken.

Whether it was an accident, suicide or murder has never been resolved beyond doubt. Dated 16th Century. The finger of suspicion pointed at Dudley, whom his enemies claimed would not have flinched from having his own wife put to death so that he could realise his ambitions of marrying the queen. Elizabeth was also in the frame: many believed that her passion for Dudley had driven her to have his wife murdered so that she could have him at last.

They would hardly have taken such a risk, especially as they would have known that it would prove counterproductive to any plans they may have had to marry.

The scandal reverberated not just around the kingdom but across the courts of Europe, so that Elizabeth was obliged to distance herself from Dudley in order to avoid being implicated any further. But in private, the queen refused to give up her favourite. Now that the scrutiny of the court was even more intense, she was obliged to go to even greater lengths to conceal their meetings. In November , for example, she disguised herself as the maid of Katherine Howard later Countess of Nottingham in order to enjoy the secret pleasure of watching Dudley shoot near Windsor Castle.

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Another attempt at discretion was less successful. On a visit to court in , the Scottish ambassador Sir James Melville spied the portrait as Elizabeth was searching for one of his own royal mistress.

As her reign progressed and the pressure to marry grew ever more intense, Elizabeth pretended to consider numerous potential suitors. But she would never commit to any of them.

Marriage with My Kingdom the Courtships of Elizabeth I by Plowden Alison

He besieged her with protestations of his undying affection, all of which his royal mistress received with obvious pleasure but with no firm promises. By , Dudley was growing desperate and decided to make one last, spectacular attempt to persuade Elizabeth to marry him. Pulling out all the stops, he invited her to his Warwickshire estate, Kenilworth Castle, and staged several days of extraordinarily lavish entertainments at a huge cost.


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The queen loved every minute of her visit there, but would not be dazzled into acquiescence. For all his desperation to marry the queen, Dudley had been secretly courting one of her ladies-in-waiting, Lettice Knollys.

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